Macklemore has released a statement apologising for the “offensive” costume he wore on stage in Seattle on Friday (16th May).

Macklemore has released a statement explaining his costume choice.

The 30-year-old appeared on stage at the EMP Museum in Seattle wearing a false nose, wig and beard. A costume choice which landed the American rapper in a P.R. disaster zone as many accused him of alluding to Jewish stereotypes. Of course, this incident simply emphasises how this stereotype continues to thrive as this was the first thing a number of commentators thought when they saw Macklemore in disguise. Talk about irony!

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Macklemore had previously defended his disguise, tweeting “A fake witches nose, wig and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.” Nevertheless, Macklemore has since acknowledged a number of people were offended by his choice of costume and issued a statement on Monday (19th May). On his website, Macklemore wrote how he chose the pieces in order to disguise himself so he could move through the crowd more freely.

Macklemore further defend his position stating “My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more. Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of the disguise were sensationalized as ant-Semetic.” Although Macklemore stated many people had thought he looked like “Ringo Starr” or “Abe Lincoln”, he believed he looked like “Humpty Hump with a bowl cut” and did not intentionally allude to a racial stereotype.

However, he did admit the costume could have been considered offensive but only within certain contexts. Macklemore wrote “I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed as a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention”.

Macklemore, whose name is Ben Haggerty, concluded his statement with another apology. He stated “I truly apologise to anybody that I may have offended. I hope this better explains the situation and my point of view.”

What do you think of Macklemore’s choice of costume – a random disguise or racist stereotype?

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Ryan Lewis and Macklemore
Macklemore (R) with his collaborator Ryan Lewis at the Grammy Award nominations.