A video published Thursday by Global News showed the third instance in which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau donned racist makeup.
On Wednesday, Time Magazine published a 2001 yearbook photo showing Trudeau wearing blackface and a turban while he was a teacher at the private West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver. Trudeau, who was 29 at the time, told reporters Wednesday he wore an “Aladdin costume” for an “Arabian nights”-themed party.
Trudeau also admitted to wearing blackface in high school to sing “Day-O” at a talent show.
On Thursday, Global News published a video showing Trudeau wearing blackface in “the early 1990s,” when Trudeau would have been in his late teens or early 20s.
“I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better, but I didn’t, and I’m really sorry,” Trudeau told reporters shortly after the first image emerged.
Trudeau began his re-election campaign last week.
Trudeau said he now recognizes the makeup as “racist.” He added that he “worked all [his] life to try and create opportunities for people to fight against racism and intolerance.”
The photos and video come after Trudeau’s Liberal party dug up numerous old social media posts from Conservative party candidates.
Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, who previously vowed to stand by any of his party’s candidates who made racist or homophobic comments if they apologized, said the photos showed that Trudeau was unfit to run the country.
“I was extremely shocked and disappointed when I learned of Justin Trudeau’s actions this evening,” he said. “Wearing brown face is an act of open mockery and racism. What Canadians saw this evening is someone with a complete lack of judgment and integrity and someone who’s not fit to govern this country.”
Muslim, Sikh lawmakers speak out:
Mustafa Farooq, who heads the National Council of Canadian Muslims, called the photos “deeply saddening.”
“The wearing of blackface/brownface is reprehensible, and hearkens back to a history of racism and an Orientalist mythology which is unacceptable,” he said, before later thanking Trudeau for apologizing.
Jagmeet Singh, a Sikh lawmaker who heads the New Democratic Party, called the photo “troubling” and “insulting.”
Singh gave an emotional statement addressing Canadians who experienced racism and “might feel like giving up on Canada.”
“I want you to know that you have value, you have worth and you are loved,” he said.