Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took the stage at the opening of Seattle’s EMP Museum exhibit about music videos in a wig, false hook nose and beard while performing his song, “Thrift Shop.”
Many tweeted from the show their disgust at the spectacle.
“Want to lose your faith in humanity?” Twitter user @jaythenerdkid wrote.
“This is so racist that seeing it is like wafting smelling salts under your nose,” user @Bro_Pair tweeted.
For some, like the Gawker’s Jordan Sargent, Macklemore’s actions were not a surprise despite the rapper’s reputation as a social crusader for same-sex marriage.
“Though Macklemore is held up by many as a paragon of progressivism—think back to his celebrated Grammys performance in which dozens of gay couples were married, or him receiving a MTV Video Music Award for ‘Best Video With a Social Message’—he is in reality a massive doofus whose most celebrated song is propped up by flimsy logic like ‘when I was in third grade, I thought I was gay,’" Sargent wrote.
The Daily Dot also criticized Seattle media attending the event for not speaking out about the costume choice.
“Could it be that no one in a city famed for its political correctness wanted to bother with backlash? If so, this weirdo is far more powerful than we feared,” wrote The Daily Dot’s Miles Klee.
Macklemore denied being racist on Twitter saying that “A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody. He added in a later tweet that he was not Jewish, but rather had “hella good Jewish homies.”
Leading Twitter user @ohitsbarbara to sarcastically tweet: “Oh, it’s ok, y’all! Macklemore can’t be racist! He’s got hella good Jewish homies!”
Macklemore has yet to make a formal statement on the incident.