Slowthai has apologised to fans after wearing an anti-facist t-shirt at a concert at Montreal’s Osheaga Festival.
The t-shirt worn by Slowthai had the word “destroy” written above a large red Nazi swastika.
Due to fans confusion on the t-shirt, the rapper has released the statement: “I’m sorry to anyone who is offended by me wearing an anti-fascist/anti-regime t-shirt and the use of the symbol it represents. I want you to know I stand firmly against antisemitism and fascism of any kind, something the t-shirt was meant to illustrate with the word ‘destroy’ above the symbol.”
Osheaga Festival have also released a statement on the misunderstanding: “A performer appeared on stage [on] Saturday wearing a controversial t-shirt displaying a swastika that caused confusion. The t-shirt denounces the regime. We sincerely apologise to anyone who may have misinterpreted this message and felt hurt.”
Today at the @osheaga music fest, @slowthai performs wearing a #swastika t-shirt. At what point does his manager, festival organizers, or stage managers step in and say this symbol of hate has no place at the festival, in #Quebec, or in #Canada? #antisemitism @AviBenlolo pic.twitter.com/QbOeYPdLRE— Neil Orlowsky Ph.D. 🍁 (@norlowsky) July 31, 2022
Fans have taken to social media speaking on the incident saying: “Absolutely horrible response. He should have never made it on stage wearing that shirt. Everyone knows what a swastika stands for in a world post World War II. Everyone involved in this should feel ashamed.”
With other fans tweeting: “The swastika is a symbol that is too charged and traumatizing to have any room for misinterpretation. [Osheaga’s] response completely bypasses the fact that their staff should never have let this happen.”
However, others defend Slowthai by linking the fashion choice to designer Vivienne Westwood’s anti-fascist designs which were worn by Sex Pistols‘ Johnny Rotten and The Rolling Stones‘ Mick Jagger
perhaps some due context for conclusion jumpers pic.twitter.com/leQlgZ9x4I— matty (@mattyjones_x) August 1, 2022
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter