Macklemore apologizes for costume seen by some as anti-Semitic

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[May 21, 2014]  (Reuters) Seattle rapper Macklemore apologized late on Monday for wearing a costume that he acknowledged could be ascribed to a Jewish caricature and said it was not his intention to mock the Jewish people.

The half of the Grammy-winning hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis sought to defuse criticism on social media that the costume he chose to wear to a Seattle museum event last Friday was anti-Semitic - with its large nose, black beard and wig.

After Macklemore tweeted that it was a random costume, actor Seth Rogen, who is Jewish, tweeted back "really?? Because if I told someone to put together an anti Semitic Jew costume, they'd have that exact shopping list."

In his statement, Macklemore said he was "absolutely not the person described in certain headlines today" and went on to explain how he chose the disguise to blend in with the crowd before his performance.

"I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature," said the 30-year-old rapper whose real name is Ben Haggerty.

"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."

The rapper, who won plaudits for backing gay rights through the duo's hit song "Same Love," ended his statement by saying "I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended" and urged people to check out the work of the Anti-Defamation League that has fought anti-Semitism since 1913.

(Reporting by Mary Milliken; Editing by Paul Simao)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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