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Osheaga Apologized After Rapper Slowthai Wore A Swastika During His Performance

The shirt was intended to denounce Nazism.

Staff Writer
Osheaga sign.

Osheaga sign.

Rapper Slowthai, real name Tyron Frampton, age 27, wore a shirt prominently displaying a bright red swastika during his on-stage performance at Osheaga on July 30. The shirt also has, in smaller, less colourful font, the word "DESTROY" written above the fascist symbol. Upon close inspection, the intended meaning of the shirt is clearer: destroy Nazism. But when worn on a giant stage far away from most of the crowd... Oh boy. It just looks like a Nazi shirt.

Instagram account @stop_antisemitism drew attention to the incident with a video showing the shirt in question:

The controversial outfit made waves on Twitter too, where sharp eyes pointed out that the design was originally created by Vivienne Westwood, fashion's leading lady of punk-ifying the mainstream.

The intent behind the original 1977 design was, according to DAZED, to critique traditional values and "stand up" to violent dictators.

Slowthai's version of the shirt features a less obstructed swastika with a "DESTROY" that is quite difficult to read at a distance.

Osheaga, meanwhile, has released a public apology and statement on Instagram.

"A performer appeared on stage Saturday wearing a controversial t-shirt displaying a swastika that caused confusion," the statement reads. "The t-shirt denounces the regime. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have misinterpreted this message and felt hurt."

Slowthai took to Twitter with his own apology, saying he stands "firmly against antisemitism and fascism of any kind."

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