Rogen Turns up the Volume on Macklemore
Like thousands of others, I would not have heard of rapper Macklemore's strange choice of costume at a recent Seattle performance had comedian Seth Rogen not pointed it out to his Twitter followers.
"First you trick people into thinking you're a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you're Jewish" Rogen tweeted, possibly doing more harm to his cause than Macklemore, who donned a fake hook nose and black beard for the show.
The Grammy winner denied Rogen's charge that he was trading in Jewish stereotypes, claiming the costume was simply "random." Whether Macklemore intended the image as a slight or not (or it emerged from deep within his subconscious), Rogen gave it a bigger platform by broadcasting it and attaching meaning, as well as controversy, for innocent onlookers.
That's not me. I'm Jewish like Rogen, sensitive to episodes of anti-Semitism and recognize in Macklemore's appearance aspects of what Hamas publishes in its funny pages every day. But without Rogen's help, even I might not have made the initial association with the Blood Libel.
My first thought when I saw Macklemore's outfit was that he could be imitating Digital Underground's famous MC Shock G, who used to sport a Groucho Marx mask.
Macklemore made the same comparison when he apologized, and I'm glad that the New Age "consciousness" rapper, who performed his pro-gay marriage ditty "Same Love" while presiding over a parade of same-sex weddings at the Grammys, can now reasonably be called an insensitive hypocrite, whose liberal posturing is as much of an act as his costume flub.
But it would be nice if rather than taking umbrage at every instance of real or imagined anti-Semitism, Rogen would tweet more pictures of Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli as an example of Jewish caricature.
Follow Brendan Thomas on Twitter.