Slowthai is apologizing after facing backlash for wearing a shirt with a swastika on it during a recent festival performance.
On Monday (Aug. 1), Slowthai hopped on Twitter to share a message in response to resentment he received for wearing a shirt donning the infamous symbol at the Osheaga Festival in Montreal, Quebec. The UK rapper says the shirt does not promote Neo-Nazi or fascist ideologies.
“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,” he wrote. “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 Fest backed Slowthai’s stance. They released their own apology in response to the outcry.
“A performer appeared onstage wearing a controversial t-shirt displaying a swastika that caused confusion,” their statement reads. “The t-shirt denounces the regime. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have misinterpreted the message and felt hurt.”
Slowthai’s performance drew the ire of American-based organizations @StopAntisemites.
“ATROCIOUS!” they wrote on Twitter following the performance on July 29. “The only word that comes to mind when we see Tyron Frampton (ie@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 @osheaga @Nfarkas?!”
Following Slow’s explanation, SA released another Twitter statement in response.
“Designer Vivienne Westwood’s original ‘DESTROY’ t-shirt denouncing Nazism has a clear obstruction on the left side of the swastika,” it reads. “@slowthai’s shirt did not; from the audience’s vantage point, all you could truly see was a massive red swastika.”
Slowthai is currently working on the follow-up to his 2021 Tyrone album. He recently released the new single “BDE” with Shygirl.
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