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Was Macklemore trying to pull off an anti-Semitic costume?

Macklemore is getting quite a bit of unwanted attention right now, after wearing what appears to be an anti-Semitic disguise at a recent concert in Seattle.

Photo courtesy of Adriana M. Barraza/

OK, this looks bad. Like really, really bad. Macklemore landed himself in some boiling hot water when he hit the stage for his surprise performance at the EMP Museum in Seattle dressed in — what appears to be — a very offensive stereotypical Jewish costume. That can’t be good.

The rapper performed wearing a black wig, a Lincoln-like beard and a fairly large nose, thereby creating a seemingly obvious mockery of a cliché Jewish appearance (à la Alec Guinness’ outrageous depiction of Fagin in Oliver Twist). Take a look for yourself:

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It looks very incriminating

It’s hard to come up with a defence for such an act, because it appears so openly offensive. But we mustn’t exclude the possibility of misjudgement or a pure accident that happened to involve some questionable elements. Naturally, when the news of Macklemore’s unfortunate costume started gaining coverage online, even Seth Rogen couldn’t resist commenting on the getup:

Which prompted the rapper to defend himself via his own Twitter account and, in return, received another rather unwelcoming response from Rogen. Clearly, Macklemore is not doing so hot right now. . .

But he didn’t mean it

After some obvious deliberation, Macklemore chose to fully explain himself through a blog post (made public on Monday night) on his official website — which we respect because he did not try to sweep this under the carpet. The rapper explained that he was attempting to disguise himself in order to surprise the crowd at the EMP Museum, and he expressed that his costume selection was completely random — not at all motivated by any stereotypes.

“I picked up a bunch of fake mustaches and beards and grabbed a left over wig from our recent trip to Japan,” Macklemore wrote.?

“As it turns out the fake noses they sell at the costume store are usually big (my nose didn’t fit most of them). So I ended up with a big witch nose. I went with a black beard, because that’s the furthest color from my natural hair. Disguise was the intention. I personally thought I looked very ambiguous in terms of any “type” of person. Some people there thought I looked like Ringo, some Abe Lincoln. If anything I thought I looked like Humpty Hump with a bowl cut.”

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Macklemore went on to state that he was disappointed that his disguise was skewed in the news, but also admitted that “the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature,” asserting that it was not deliberate.

So, what’s the verdict, folks? We feel as if it is possible Macklemore’s costume was misunderstood. It’s hard to believe that in this day and age, anyone would be daft enough to try and pull off such an overtly offensive stunt. Thus, we must conclude that is more likely it was an accident. Macklemore was probably acting on whim and did not consider the implications of his costume.

On that note, if the disguise was inadvertent, isn’t it more disturbing that the general public immediately assumed it was representing a Jewish stereotype? Food for thought.

What did you think of Macklemore’s wardrobe choice and do you think it was done on purpose? Let us know in the comments.

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