The Seattle artist became the center of a social-media controversy on Monday when images and video began to circulate that showed him performing "Thrift Shop" in a prosthetic nose and fake beard.
Critics say the costume, which also included a black mop-top wig, made the rapper resemble an anti-Semitic caricature.
Macklemore donned the outfit during a surprise concert at Seattle's EMP Museum on Friday. After a weekend of complaints, he assured fans on Twitter Monday that any resemblance between his costume and stereotypes of Jews from Nazi propaganda was purely a coincidence.
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
It is unclear what image Macklemore was trying to express with the costume. The rapper has previously performed in a large fur coat, an Inuit snow suit and a drum major uniform.
On Monday night, Macklemore posted a lengthy apology on his website.
"My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more," he wrote. "Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic [sic]."
Macklemore admitted that the outfit "could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature," but emphasized that that was not his intention.
"I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended," he finished, while directing fans to the website of the Anti-Defamation League.
Sample the collective Twitter outrage below. This is likely the first issue Seth Rogen and Michelle Malkin agree on:
for those who don't know, @macklemore performed Thrift Shop dressed as a racist Jewish stereotype. idiot.— josh king (@chompsk1) May 19, 2014
Macklemore: "No no, let me take off my wig to prove that I'm not exploiting Jewish stereotypes!" [reveals Hitler Youth haircut]— Ross Luippold (@rossluippold) May 19, 2014
"nah im not anti-semitic, when i was in the third grade i had hella jewish homies" -macklemore probably— mens rights activist (@champagnexmamii) May 19, 2014
Macklemore - Preaches same love... wears sterotypical jewish costume while singing a song about saving money. Smooth man, real smooth.— low-class MADvillain (@rosscoeswetsuit) May 19, 2014