Grammy-winning rapper Macklemore has come forward and issued an open statement to address the backlash shot his way courtesy of a controversial on-stage costume he rocked last week. #MomentofClarity
Despite the widespread negative coverage, Mack said the media has misreported his intentions.
“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… 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.” (Statement)
The West Coast hip-hop artist also denied trying to draw any intentional connections to the Jewish community.
“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… 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.” (Statement)
He also asked for fans and critics alike to understand his true intentions.
“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.” (Statement)
Details of Macklemore’s on-stage antics and the immediate backlash surfaced online over the past few days.
During his set with longtime producing partner Ryan Lewis at the event–the opening of the “Spectacle: The Music Video” exhibit at Seattle’s EMP Museum–Macklemore wore a wig, a fake beard, and a prosthetic nose. Afterward, some people took to Twitter to question the disguise, which was described by the Daily Dot as “some kind of Jewish caricature, prosthetic schnoz included.” (Us Magazine)