Rapper Slowthai Apologizes For Controversial T-Shirt At Osheaga Festival


Rapper slowthai and organizers of the Montreal’s Osheaga festival responded Monday to complaints about the T-shirt he wore during his set on Saturday.

The T-shirt, which was a version of one designed by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in the mid-70s, has a pink Nazi swastika in a red circle, an inverted image of Jesus on the cross and a postage stamp image of Queen Elizabeth under the word “DESTROY.” 

“ATROCIOUS!” read a tweet from @StopAntisemitism. “The only word that comes to mind when we see Tyron Frampton (i.e. @slowthai) allowed to perform yesterday at the Osheaga music festival in Quebec adorning a bright red swastika. Why wasn’t he immediately yanked off the stage?”

slowthai, whose real name is Tyron Frampton, wrote in a message shared on social media: “I’m sorry to anyone who is offended by me wearing an anti-racist / anti-regime t-shirt and the use of the symbol it represents.

“I want you to know I stand firmly against antisemitism and racism of any kind, something the t-shirt was meant to illustrate with the word ‘destroy’ above the symbol.”

The 27-year-old rapper's mother is of Barbadian descent.

Osheaga issued its owned statement. “A performer appeared on stage Saturday wearing a controversial T-shirt displaying a swastika that caused confusion. The T-shirt denounces the regime. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have misinterpreted this message and felt hurt.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) countered "there is no room for confused messaging when it comes to hate and hateful symbolism." In a tweet, the CIJA called on Osheaga "to look into how this happened and take the necessary steps to ensure it doesn't happen again."

Bell Media, parent company of this website, is a sponsor of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival.

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