When a rapper, before going onstage at a big party, disguises himself with an outsized, hooked prosthetic nose and fake black beard, is that anti-Semitic? This is the question being asked today about the popular American rapper Macklemore, Buzzfeed reports.
He didn't wear a kippah or tallit or Star of David or any other specifically Jewish accessory; it was mainly the nose, which is by no means specifically Jewish. But after Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty) showed up in disguise at Seattle's EMP Museum for the Friday opening of a new exhibit on music videos, then went onstage and performed, some of the tweeters were outraged.
Macklemore responded to the charge with a tweet denying that his costume was anti-Semitic: "A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody."
From "jay, miss fanservice": "want to lose your faith in humanity? Macklemore wore a jewish stereotype costume to a concert."
From "JD MAGNESS": "What a sick joke this guy is. Why did Macklemore perform a secret show in Jew-face?"
Others, though, saw nothing objectionable.
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
From "Michael Barthel": "Super unsurprised that Seattlites didn't think Macklemore's Jewish costume was offensive."
In April, the rapper, whose family background is Irish, released a video that showed him blowing a shofar – a ram's horn of the type heard in synagogues to announce the Jewish New Year – some of his fans wondered if he was Jewish.
"Nah," tweeted Macklemore. "Just got hella good Jewish homies."