Really, Macklemore? A big Jewish nose? Subtle.
On Friday night, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed a secret show in their hometown of Seattle in honor of a new exhibit at the city’s EMP Museum. As Gawker points out, this would not have been news if it had not been for Macklemore singing “Thrift Shop” while dressed as the embodiment of a Nazi propaganda flyer about the dangers of the all powerful greedy Jew.
Yes, that’s @macklemore. He & @RyanLewis played a surprise performance @EMPmuseum tonight: http://t.co/Pb10sh2HtLpic.twitter.com/ARjJ1xjoZS— Seattle Refined (@SeattleRefined) May 17, 2014
Media outlets like the Daily Dot and Buzzfeed were quick to criticize the rapper, calling his outfit “some kind of Jewish caricature, prosthetic schnozz included.”
Check out @macklemore performing “Thrift Shop” as a stereotypical Jewish man. So much for same love, eh? pic.twitter.com/yZ19QmxIV0— Ian de Borja (@idb1204) May 19, 2014
Even Seth Rogen had something to say about it:
.@macklemore, first you trick people into thinking you're a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you're Jewish? pic.twitter.com/3rtaE4GHje— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 18, 2014
This isn’t the first time the rapper’s been involved in some Jewish shenanigans. Back in August, he blew a shofar in his announcement for the VMAs. (And in case you’re wondering, he’s not Jewish, despite what Wiki Answers says. He’s just got “hella good Jewish homies.”)
Once the story started making the rounds, Macklemore took to Twitter to defend (but not apologize for) his questionable choice of attire.
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody. — Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
Oh, dear — that’s a relief. If only that image hadn’t been co-opted for hundreds of years of discrimination, pogroms and mass murder, you’d totally be in the clear.
Maybe something to consider next time you’re shopping in the Groucho Marx aisle.
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
Macklemore Dresses Up as Stereotypical Jew