Justin Trudeau apologises for wearing brownface in 2001 – and Canadian PM admits it’s not the first time

JUSTIN Trudeau has apologised for donning blackface at a party in 2001, saying that he didn’t think it was racist at the time.

The Canadian prime minister, famed for his ultra-political correctness, said he was “deeply sorry” after the image of him wearing dark make-up on his face, hands and neck sparked outrage.

Justin Trudeau was photographed wearing blackface at a party in 2001
Time

Justin Trudeau was photographed wearing blackface at a party in 2001[/caption]

The Canadian prime minister said he is 'really sorry' in a press conference
AP:Associated Press

The Canadian prime minister said he is ‘really sorry’ in a press conference[/caption]

He admitted it was a racist act, but claimed he didn't realise it at the time
AP:Associated Press

He admitted it was a racist act, but claimed he didn’t realise it at the time[/caption]

This photo emerged soon after the other one
This photo emerged soon after the other one
Twitter/RobertFife

But the blackface incident was seemingly not a one-off for the holier-than-thou politician, who is known for calling others out for racism as well as virtue-signalling.

For another photograph has since emerged showing him dressed up as a black man at the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, an elite high school in Quebec, which he attended.

The prime minister, who champions diversity and multiculturalism, was performing his version of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” during a talent show.

His political rivals have blasted the PC PM, branding him a “hypocrite”.

But the Liberal Party leader, 47, who is campaigning for re-election, said he is not planning to resign.

In the first photograph to come to light, Trudeau can be seen sporting a turban and robes at the Arabian Nights themed costume party at the West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver.

That photo was taken when Trudeau was a 29-year-old teacher at the private school, according to Time magazine.

Trudeau confirmed he was dressed as a character from Aladdin and said he had his arm around a “close friend”.

“I should have known better then, but I didn’t and I did it and I’m deeply sorry,” Trudeau told reporters on his campaign plane in Nova Scotia.

“I’m p***ed off at myself, I’m disappointed in myself.

“I take responsibility for my decision to do that… it was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time but now I recognise it was something racist to do.”

He later added: “It was dumb”.

When questioned by reporters, Trudeau also fessed-up to dressing up in make-up when at high school and performing Day O as shown in the photograph that came to light.

This is a song about people in Jamaica loading bananas onto boats.

‘FORGIVE ME’

The prime minister said he made a mistake and asked Canadians to forgive him.

The photo appeared in the school’s 2000-2001 yearbook, The View.

Vancouver businessman, Michael Adamson, a member of the school community, shared the photo after feeling it should be made public.

The blackface scandal could undermine Trudeau’s chances for re-election with less than five weeks to go before the national election.

Hundreds have already taken to social media to accuse Trudeau of racism, with some saying he should stand down.

‘BIGGEST HYPOCRITE IN THE COUNTRY’

Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, slammed Trudeau as the “biggest hypocrite in the country”.

“I’m not going to accuse Justin Trudeau of being a racist,” he said.

“But he’s the master of identity politics and the Libs just spent months accusing everyone of being white supremacists.”

Canada’s Conservative later Andrew Scheer, who is running against Trudeau in the election, said he was “shocked and disappointed” by his rival’s actions.

“Wearing brown face is an act of open mockery and racism,” he said.

“What Canadians saw this evening is someone with a complete lack of judgement and integrity and someone who’s not fit to govern this country.”

‘DEEPLY SHOCKED’

Elizabeth May, the leader of Canada’s Green Party, tweeted: “I am deeply shocked by the racism shown in the photograph of Justin Trudeau.

“He must apologise for the harm done and commit to learning and appreciating the requirement to model social justice leadership at all levels of government.

“In this matter he has failed.”

New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh, who is sikh and wears a turban, sent a message of support to anyone who has ever been bullied over their race.

The photo could prove to be particularly politically embarrassing because Trudeau has been admired by liberals worldwide for his progressive policies.

The Liberal Party leader gained a record 148 seats in 2015, emerging as a darling of progressives around the world.

But his purchase of a controversial oil pipeline and an embarrassing trip to India have sent his popularity plummeting.

Dressing up... Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to India in March
Dressing up… Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to India in March
Reuters

Trudeau was especially vulnerable following one of the biggest scandals in Canadian political history.

This arose when Trudeau’s former attorney general said he improperly pressured her to halt the criminal prosecution of a company in Quebec.

Trudeau argued he was standing up for jobs, but he has struggled to deflect criticism.

The Liberal Party leader, who is campaigning for re-election, said he is not planning to resign
AP:Associated Press

The Liberal Party leader, who is campaigning for re-election, said he is not planning to resign[/caption]

The Canadian prime minister has been accused of 'shocking racism'
AP:Associated Press

The Canadian prime minister has been accused of ‘shocking racism’[/caption]


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