As I'm sure you're all aware now, on Friday, Seattle rapper Macklemore wore a costume onstage that looked unfortunately similar to offensive old-school Jewish caricatures. Some people in the audience were offended by what they saw, but Macklemore has said via Twitter that the look was "not [his] idea of a stereotype of anybody." The costume, he said, was just "a fake witches nose, wig, and beard," a "random costume"—nothing designed to be offensive.
Around the office at The Stranger, we've been curious about what, exactly, the costume was intended to be, even if Mack considers it "random." Maybe we could go to wherever he bought it and find the totally not-offensive witch nose? Or, um, maybe something else.
Lynn Jacobson, from the Seattle Times, tweeted the day of the show, quoting Macklemore as saying he "went to Costume Display today." There's no costume store we could find by that name, but there is certainly one called Display & Costume (full name: Party @ Display & Costume), up near Northgate. It's a big costume emporium that's been around since I was a kid, and even professional makeup artists go there sometimes. So I went up there this afternoon to see if Mack had been in, and if they sell a similar costume—or the pieces of it.
On the left, there are some witch noses. They all have noticeable built-in warts. (I found another, smaller witch nose, too; it's too small the be the one he was wearing.) Over on the right, there's this:
I asked folks who work in the store if they'd seen or heard about Macklemore coming in, and the rumor one person repeated is that "his people" have been in recently; they've also been in before to buy supplies for video shoots. No one had heard of any sighting of Mack himself, though, and no one I talked to had seen anything for themselves. I also combed through (ha-ha) the wig and beard sections; it's harder to figure out for sure what hair stuff he used, since a lot of them are similar. They didn't seem to have ethnic identities, though.
Still: That nose. Jesus, Mack. It should be said that this post is not some sort of forensic investigation, nor have Macklemore's people gotten back to us. There's no proof that that nose in the picture is the one he was wearing, and it's possible that Macklemore never saw the packaging. It's also possible that no one who works for him knows exactly what might be offensive about a "Sheik/Fagin" nose—maybe his people don't know their Charles Dickens. But it sure looks like that's what he was wearing.