Osheaga apologizes after rapper Slowthai appeared in a swastika t-shirt at a music festival

Organizers at the Osheaga music festival in Montreal are issuing an apology after a British rapper performed in a swastika-print T-shirt.

The festival said Slowthai’s fashion choices on Saturday “caused confusion” with some festival-goers, who might not understand that it “denounces the regime.”

The issue arose after photos and videos were posted online of the 27-year-old rapper, born Tyron Frampton, performing in Osheaga in a shirt with the word “destroy” depicted on his head with a swastika. .

Several Jewish groups reacted to the images circulating, including US-based Stop Antisemitism who labeled it “brutal” and asked why Osheaga staff did not secure Frampton. “immediately kicked off the stage”.

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The design is a variation on the “Destroy”, a controversial look created in the 1970s by fashion artist and activist Vivienne Westwood in collaboration with visual artist Malcolm McLaren.

On it, a pink swastika appears in a red circle with the image of Jesus turned upside down on the cross placed above. An upside down postage stamp of Queen Elizabeth is hidden in the corner.

Frampton released a statement apologizing to “anyone offended by me wearing an anti-racism/anti-regime t-shirt and using the symbol it represents”.

“I want you to know that I stand firmly against anti-Semitism and racism of any kind, which the t-shirt illustrates with the word ‘destroy’ above the logo,” he said. said more.

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The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs urges Frampton to consider that the attempt to call fascism will fail if “those who see it are viewed completely differently.”

The organization added: “The Nazi image is not a fashion statement.

“It should not be used as a stunt to gain attention or as a means of publicity.”

Osheaga added in her statement: “We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have misunderstood this message and felt hurt.”

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