Macklemore AKA Ben Haggerty has released a statement explaining his choice of costume at a Seattle show. His wig, witches nose and beard has been “sensationalised” as perpetuating a racist stereotype. Macklemore explained the disguise was “random” and apologised for any offence.
Macklemore has released a statement apologising for the “offensive” costume he wore on stage in Seattle on Friday (16th May).
Macklemore has released a statement explaining his costume choice.
The 30-year-old appeared on stage at the EMP Museum in Seattle wearing a false nose, wig and beard. A costume choice which landed the American rapper in a P.R. disaster zone as many accused him of alluding to Jewish stereotypes. Of course, this incident simply emphasises how this stereotype continues to thrive as this was the first thing a number of commentators thought when they saw Macklemore in disguise. Talk about irony!
Macklemore had previously defended his disguise, tweeting “A fake witches nose, wig and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.” Nevertheless, Macklemore has since acknowledged a number of people were offended by his choice of costume and issued a statement on Monday (19th May). On his website, Macklemore wrote how he chose the pieces in order to disguise himself so he could move through the crowd more freely.
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
Macklemore further defend his position stating “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 the disguise were sensationalized as ant-Semetic.” Although Macklemore stated many people had thought he looked like “Ringo Starr” or “Abe Lincoln”, he believed he looked like “Humpty Hump with a bowl cut” and did not intentionally allude to a racial stereotype.
However, he did admit the costume could have been considered offensive but only within certain contexts. Macklemore wrote “I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed as a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention”.
Macklemore, whose name is Ben Haggerty, concluded his statement with another apology. He stated “I truly apologise to anybody that I may have offended. I hope this better explains the situation and my point of view.”
What do you think of Macklemore’s choice of costume – a random disguise or racist stereotype?
Macklemore (R) with his collaborator Ryan Lewis at the Grammy Award nominations.