Rapper apologizes after wearing swastika shirt at Canadian music festival

Over the weekend, as Montreal’s Osheaga Festival wrapped up, controversy surrounding rapper Slowthai’s fashion choice began to build. During his Saturday performance, the artist sadly appeared on stage wearing a shirt adorned with a large red swastika.

The garment, which features the word “Destroy” above the hate symbol, is a replica of a 1975 garment created by English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

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According to Slowthai, the shirt was meant to convey an anti-fascist message. Nonetheless, many anti-Semitic groups, including the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), were shocked and appalled after seeing the symbol on the festival stage.

Following Monday’s uproar, Osheaga posted an apology on Instagram.

An apology and a personal statement were later tweeted by Slowthai himself. In it, the rapper explained how he stands “against fascism of any kind,” which the shirt was “intended to illustrate with the word ‘destroy’ above the symbol.”

The ability to reply to the tweet has been disabled by the author.

Elizabeth J. Harless