Rapper Macklemore has posted an apology on his website, saying he did not mean to mock Jewish people by wearing a costume that some say was anti-Semitic during a performance in the US.
Macklemore, who had a number one in the UK last year with Thrift Shop, said he randomly chose the pieces of the costume he wore at Friday’s performance in Seattle so he could disguise himself and move freely around during the secret show. It was not meant to be a caricature of a Jewish man, he said.
“I respect all cultures and all people,” he wrote. “I would never intentionally put down anybody for the fabric that makes them who they are. I love human beings, love originality, and … happen to love a weird outfit from time to time.”
Grammy Award winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis made the appearance at the EMP Museum in their home town to help celebrate the debut of a new exhibition.
Photos from the concert show Macklemore, 30, wearing a black wig and beard and a fake hooked nose. Macklemore and Lewis gained widespread fame with a message supporting diversity, and their hit song One Love calls for tolerance and support for members of the gay community.
The two performed the song at January’s Grammy Awards while several same-sex couples were married, and they have been lauded for their progressive messages.
Lewis and his mother appeared on Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN to talk about their HIV-Aids charity efforts before Macklemore posted his message.
In a postscript, the rapper pointed out the work of the Anti-Defamation League, formed to fight anti-Semitism, providing a link to the group’s website.
“I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to aJewish caricature,” he wrote. “I am here to say that it was not absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. I’m saddened that this story, or any of my choices, would lead to any form of negativity.”