Justin Trudeau Brownface TIME.COM

Canada PM Justin Trudeau did not think it was racist to ‘brownface’

The Canadian Prime Minister has found himself doing damage control after an old photo surfaced of him in ‘brownface’.

The image of the incident emerged ahead of next month’s general election. He also revealed another incident in which he wore ‘makeup’ in a high school talent show whilst singing the Harry Belafonte song ‘Day-O’. 

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau says he deeply regrets appearing in brownface for a 2001 party.

The photograph of Trudeau with brown makeup on his face, neck and hands and dressed in a turban and robes was published by Time magazine on Wednesday.

It appeared in a school yearbook, while Trudeau, then 29, was working as a teacher at West Point Grey Academy.

“I apologise profoundly,” said the Canadian prime minister on Wednesday night after the photograph was published. “I regret it deeply. I’m deeply sorry I did that, I should have known better.”

Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau

“It was something I should not have done. I didn’t think it was racist at the time, but now I see, it was a racist thing to do.”

On Wednesday, Zita Astravas, the media relations lead of the Liberal Party of Canada, which Trudeau is the leader of, confirmed that the prime minister was in the photo. “It was a photo taken while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of ‘Arabian Nights.’ He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin,” said Astravas. Trudeau is planning on addressing the photograph to the media later this evening, according to the Astravas. The prime minister’s official director of communications did not return multiple calls.

Trudeau did not answer a question about whether he had considered resigning.

Sources: Time Magazine | The Guardian

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One comment

  1. I think he was imitating a Canadian Sikh wearing a turban. There are many Sikhs who support PM Tradeau. Its a pity he has to humiliate his staunch supporters.