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Macklemore Accused of Anti-Semitism After Wearing Questionable Costume

Rapper faces criticism after performing with oversized nose, bowl-cut wig and Hasidic-looking beard

Macklemore performs in Seattle, Washington.
Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic
May 19, 2014 10:52 AM ET

Macklemore, an outspoken voice for open-mindedness in hip-hop, has rankled select fans by wearing a costume some have construed as anti-Semitic, The Daily Dot reports. At a surprise performance at the Experience Music Project Museum Friday night, the rapper performed with an oversized nose, bowl-cut wig and Hasidic-looking beard attached to his face. Following the performance, several people expressed their dismay with Macklemore on Twitter. The rapper responded to the outcry with a tweet, but did not express contrition.

"A fake witches [sic] nose, wig, and beard = random costume," he wrote. "Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody." A representative for Macklemore directed Rolling Stone to the rapper's tweet.

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Actor Seth Rogen joked on Twitter about the incident, writing, "Macklemore, first you trick people into thinking you're a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you're Jewish?"

Although Macklemore has lyrically dealt with societal issues about sexuality, he has not openly confirmed his religion. In April 2013, as spotted by the Daily Dot, a fan on Twitter asked Macklemore whether he was Jewish or not. He replied, "Nah.  Just got hella good Jewish homies."

Prior to this event, Macklemore had been having a banner year. In January, he and production partner Ryan Lewis took home two Grammys, including Best Rap Album – an honor he didn't feel worthy of. That same month, he texted an apology for winning to Kendrick Lamar, saying that he was "robbed."

His Grammys performance was one of the more notable ones of the night, too, as it highlighted his campaigning for tolerance; part of the performance featured Queen Latifah marrying 34 gay and straight couples.

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