Macklemore apologizes to ‘anybody I may have offended’ with costume

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Macklemore in what some are calling a racist costume Friday.

SEATTLE — Seattle-area rapper Macklemore said Monday he was surprised and disappointed that a costume he wore onstage was “sensationalized” and led to assertions it was anti-Semitic, but he added: “I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended.”

Macklemore’s outfit during a surprise concert Friday at Seattle’s Experience Music Project led to the controversy.

Macklemore took the stage Friday in Seattle wearing a black beard, a black wig and a notably long prosthetic nose as her performed his hit single “Thrift Shop.” Many felt the costume mocked Judaism, and was a thinly veiled Jewish caricature.


Popular websites like the Daily Dot, the Slog and Buzzfeed criticized Macklemore for his outfit. Macklemore never addressed the costume while on stage, but took to Twitter after critique of his outfit began to surface Friday night. He defended his choice, calling it a “random costume.”

He later issued this apology on his website here:

“Family, friends and fans alike who know me well, know that I’m absolutely not the person described in certain headlines today. There is no worse feeling than being misunderstood, especially when people are hurt or offended.

“On Friday night we had a surprise show at the EMP Museum in Seattle.  Earlier in the day I thought it would be fun to dress up in a disguise and go incognito to the event, so that I could walk around unnoticed and surprise the crowd with a short performance.  I picked up a bunch of fake mustaches and beards and grabbed a left over wig from our recent trip to Japan.

“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.

“We showed up to the event, I hit the stage in the outfit, rocked two songs, took pictures and went home.  We had a great time and it was fun to be a surprise guest in a costume.  I’ve always loved dressing up and have been doing so my entire career. The character I dressed up as on Friday had no intended cultural identity or background.  I wasn’t attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one.  A “Jewish stereotype” never crossed my mind.

“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 a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic. I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was 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.

“I will let my body of work and the causes for which I’ve supported speak for themselves. I hope that anyone who may question my intent take a few moments to discover the human and artist that I strive to be. I respect all cultures and all people.  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.

“I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended. I hope this better explains the situation and my point of view.

With love,


PS – Out of a negative can come a positive. Through this situation I’ve got hip to some incredible groups like the ADL and I encourage people to check the great work they, and others like them, do:


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  • Jaime

    Yeesh! People are too sensitive….regardless of what the costume was…It was just that, a costume…any publicity is good publicity anyway…:-) love you maclemore!

  • kat

    I was in the front row for this performance and I remember him making two comments related to his costume. Firstly that it was just "stuff he grabbed on the way here from the store" and secondly "That the beard made him feel like a man for the first time". I really doubt he was trying to be a stereotype, in fact it reminds me a lot of the costume donned in Digital Undergrounds Humpty Dance music video…

  • Ted

    Surprise concert, comes out unrecognizable, then surprises everyone with his hit song. Hmmmm? I’m not so sure Seth Rogan really room to say anything, except, “Come see my movie, come see my movie, come see my movie, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. Hey Seth, why don’t you use your power to go after real racists in the Whitehouse and congress.

  • The Firstlady

    First of all, who the hell is josh king. And boy did he jump the shark, it must be tough going through life both rich and paranoid. No racism here just petty, rich people being rich people.

  • DuhNigreus

    He didn't mock Judaism, since the song has no religious overtones. However, he did mock Jews. Big-nosed caricature singing a song called "Thrift Shop." When you think about it for a moment, that's pretty darned funny!

    • koufaxmitzvah

      Yes, when you think about it, in context of roughly 3000 years of unbridled hatred toward one group of people, it's flippant hysterical. Like you. I think about people like you and shake my head. Hysterical.

  • cwl

    What a f##king loser!! He knew what he was doing! I wonder if the Mariners will honor this idiot with another bobble head? Obama has done everything he can to disrespect Jews!!!!!

  • guest

    Anti Semitism? Funny we don't hear the Jews talking about a part of history that doesn't fit their agenda. Let's go back a few years, Stalin's brother in law, who as a Jew was the architect for the genocide of Christians in Russia.

    • fhhlg

      Stalin wasn’t Jewish you lying prick and there has never been a “genocide” of christians in Russia, only the super religious were persecuted not systematically murdered. I actually have relatives from Russia, so I have credibility, all you have is your trailer park and some natty ice you white trash hateful prick. I’m so happy racists like you are dying out, I hope your hatred consumes your body and you get cancer.

  • Jim C

    Funny how people don't rush to the defense of others who wear costumes of any other "protected group". Had he worn some brown makeup and an afro wig the President would be commenting on it.

  • voiceoftruth19

    Now have some music associations fine him for 2.5 million dollars and force him to sell any business that he owns

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