'Brownface' comes back to haunt Justin Trudeau

Published: Sep 20, 2019, 10:47 IST | Agencies | Ottawa

Time magazine published a photo, showing him wearing brownface makeup to a party at a school where he taught 18 years ago, one week into a federal poll campaign

This image obtained on Thursday, courtesy of Time magazine, shows PM Justin Trudeau sporting a brown face at a party in 2001. Pic/AFP/TIMEInc
This image obtained on Thursday, courtesy of Time magazine, shows PM Justin Trudeau sporting a brown face at a party in 2001. Pic/AFP/TIMEInc

Ottawa: The re-election bid of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a fervent advocate of the multiculturalism integral to Canadian identity, has been thrown into disarray with the emergence of his pictures from his youth days, wearing dark makeup. Time magazine published a photo, showing him wearing brownface makeup to a party at a school where he taught 18 years ago, one week into a federal poll campaign with his Liberal Party in a tight contest against the Conservatives. The photograph shows Trudeau, then 29, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened at a gala party in 2001.

Trudeau had apologised on Wednesday, saying, "I made a mistake when I was younger and I wish I hadn't. I wish I had known better then, but I didn't and I'm deeply sorry for it. Now I recognise it was something racist to do," he said. "I'm disappointed in myself."

Another image of his wearing blackface makeup emerged on TV Thursday. Released by Global News, and confirmed to AFP by his campaign as being Trudeau "in the early 1990s", it depicts him in ripped jeans and a T-shirt, his arms up and dark makeup on his face.

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