By Julissa Catalan
Wearing a prosthetic nose, fake beard and black wig, rapper Macklemore took the stage for a surprise performance in Seattle on Friday night, causing concertgoers, media and even fellow celebrities to accuse him of wearing an anti-Semitic costume.
“What makes Macklemore’s anti-Semitic costume even crazier is that his biggest song is about saving money,” tweeted fellow white rapper Jensen Karp, referring to Macklemore’s hit song “Thrift Shop,” which was one of the two songs he performed that night.
What makes Macklemore’s anti-Semitic costume even crazier is that his biggest song is about saving money.
Jensen Karp (@JensenClan88) May 18, 2014
Jewish actor Seth Rogen also tweeted at Macklemore: “@macklemore, first you trick people into thinking you’re a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you’re Jewish”
Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 18, 2014
Macklemore then tweeted, “A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.”
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.
Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
Seth Rogen quickly replied, “@macklemore really Because if I told someone to put together an anti Semitic Jew costume, they’d have that exact shopping list.”
.@macklemore really Because if I told someone to put together an anti Semitic Jew costume, they’d have that exact shopping list.
Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 19, 2014
Following all the mediaand celebrityattention, Macklemore posted a lengthy explanation to his website, saying, “Family, friends and fans alike who know me well, know that I’m not the person described in certain headlines today. There is no worse feeling than being misunderstood, especially when people are hurt or offended.”
He goes on to say that the purpose for the costume was to go unrecognized by concert goers before he gave a surprise performance, adding, “Some people there thought I looked like Ringo, some Abe Lincoln.”
He continued by saying “a Jewish stereotype” never crossed his mind, and that “it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semitic.”
He closed his statement by apologizing: “I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended. I hope this better explains the situation and my point of view.”
Shortly after, Jensen Karp tweeted, “Sure he may say the costume was a coincidence, but either way, I’ve been mistaken for Macklemore 5 times today. ”
Sure, he may say the costume was a coincidence, but either way, I’ve been mistaken for Macklemore 5 times today.
Jensen Karp (@JensenClan88) May 19, 2014
Up until now, Macklemore has been praised by both fans and the music industry for songs like “Same Love”the Grammy-award winning tune which he famously sang at this year’s award ceremony, as same-gender couples married live during his performance.
In January, the song was also used in an anti-bullying public-service announcement for USA Network’s Characters Unite Month.
“We intended ‘Same Love’ to help spread a message of love, tolerance and acceptance and we are proud to align ourselves with the Characters Unite movement which shares the same goal,” Macklemore and music partner Ryan Lewis said in a statement. “Through the new Characters Unite PSA, we hope to inspire even more people to take part in such an important cause.”
Perry was called racist for dressing as a geisha for her performance of her hit “Unconditional” at the 2013 American Music Awards, as well as for her Egyptian-themed music video for the song “Dark Horse”which even sparked a Change.org petition.
Lavigne, meanwhile, was heavily criticized for her music video for the song “Hello Kitty,” for associating the Japanese culture with sexual innuendos.
Both pop stars have said they aren’t racist, but rather are showing their appreciation for other cultures.