Macklemore Battles Anti-Semitism Rumors After Dressing in 'Jewish' Stereotype Costume

UPDATED 05/20/2014 at 10:30 AM EDT Originally published 05/19/2014 at 06:30 PM EDT


Macklemore in costume on May 16

Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic

Here's a lesson for all the rappers out there: If you're thinking of performing with a fake nose, make sure your prosthetic of choice is closer to Digital Underground than Macklemore.

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.

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:

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