Photo of Justin Trudeau wearing ‘blackface’ at Vancouver party surfaces

A photo has been released by TIME showing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a “Arabian Nights” themed party wearing blackface makeup with his black-painted hand on a woman’s chest.

The picture was taken in the spring of 2001 at a private party held at Vancouver’s prestigious West Point Grey Academy and released to TIME by a parent at the school. At the time Trudeau was a 29-year-old teacher at the school. The photo was published in the school’s 2000-2001 yearbook called The View.

According to the TIME article, the party was attended by school faculty, administrators and parents.

Liberal spokesman Cameron Ahmad confirmed the photo is of Trudeau, who is on a plane at the moment.

“It was a photo taken in 2001 while he was teaching in Vancouver, at a school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of “Arabian Nights”,” Ahmad said. “He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin.

Trudeau told media that were with him on a flight from Halifax that he should have known better, but he didn’t.

“Obviously I regret that I did it and I’m really sorry I did,” Trudeau said.

He said that when he was in high school he dressed up in black makeup at a school performance.

“It’s something that I didn’t realize was racist at the time, but know I recognize it was something racist to do and I regret.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who was taking part in a town hall meeting when the news broke, said it’s becoming clear that Trudeau’s public persona may not be an accurate reflection of who he is.

“I think he needs to answer for it. I think he’s got to answer the question why he did that and what does that say about what he thinks about people who, because of who they are, because of the colour of their skin, face challenges and barriers and obstacles in their life,” Singh said.

“Who is the real Mr. Trudeau? Is it the one behind closed doors, the one when the cameras are turned off that no one sees?” Singh asked. “Is that the real Mr. Trudeau? Because more and more, it seems like it is.”

The National Council of Canadian Muslims wasted little time calling on Trudeau to explain the “deeply saddening” photo.

“The wearing of blackface/brownface is reprehensible, and hearkens back to a history of racism, slavery, and an Orientalist mythology that is unacceptable,” said executive director Mustafa Farooq.

“While we recognize that people can change and evolve over two decades, it is critical that the prime minister immediately and unequivocally apologize.”

Calls to the West Point Grey Academy have not been returned.

One thought on “Photo of Justin Trudeau wearing ‘blackface’ at Vancouver party surfaces

  1. It’s not surprising that such news are needed in order to keep Canada in the headlines. It’s because, otherwise, no one would care about Canada or about what happens in Canada. One of the downsides of being a Canadian is that no one gives a sh*t about you or your big little country. Well, fortunately, Justin Trudeau, our prime minister, has been working on keeping Canada in the headlines, no matter the cost. Before the blackface controversy, Trudeau expertly grabbed people’s attention by having one of his eyebrows fall off. But I have insider information that Trudeau’s blackface is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his facial mockery. Yes, this mockery is extensive. Trudeau, for example, puts on his yellow face when he wants to mock Asians. He puts on his fat face when he wants to mock Australians or Americans. He puts on his hairy face when he wants to mock Muslims. He puts on his frogface when he wants to mock the French. He puts on his horseface when he wants to mock the English. He puts on his Michael Myers face when he wants to star in another Halloween movie. And so on. But I think that, next time, Trudeau should try something different. Instead of putting on another face or getting into a sexting scandal like Anthony Weiner did, he should try getting abducted by aliens. This would be way cooler, and this would definitely serve to keep Canada in the headlines, at least for a few weeks.


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