Less than 24 hours after Time Magazine released a photo Wednesday of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s face covered in dark brown makeup at an “Arabian Nights” event, more photos of him in blackface have been released.
The original photo, a yearbook picture Time Magazine obtained from Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson, is from an event held at West Point Grey Academy, a private school where Trudeau taught in Vancouver.
In it, the then-29-year-old Trudeau was wearing a turban and robe with his face, neck and hands darkened, and he was smiling with four women.
Met with immediate backlash regarding the photo, the liberal politician wasted little time issuing an apology at an unplanned news conference Wednesday night on his plane on a Halifax tarmac, Time Magazine reported.
When asked if he thought the photo was racist, he said, “Yes it was. I didn’t consider it racist at the time, but now we know better.”
Trudeau, 47, also said he wore blackface “makeup” in high school to sing the Jamaican folk song “Day-O,” which was performed by Black activist and noted singer Harry Belafonte.
And on Thursday, another photo emerged of Trudeau again in blackface in a video from the early 1990s that showed him raising his hands in the air, Time Magazine reported.
He later made another apology and released video of it on Twitter Thursday.
“What I did was hurtful to people who live with intolerance and discrimination every day,” he said on Twitter. “I recognize that, and I take full responsibility for it. I know that I let a lot of people down with that choice, and I am deeply sorry. “
He said when we reflect on “mistakes” we made in the past, “we’re always going to be asking, ‘why did we do that.'”
“It wasn’t a good idea. It was a terrible idea,” Trudeau said. “It was something that minimizes and takes advantage of a reality that I have not had to live with, of being discriminated against, of being marginalized of being judged for the color of my skin, for my language, my background.
“I come from a place of privilege.”
He said with the opportunities he’s been given to”fight for peoples’ rights,” he realizes that “I let a lot of people down with that choice.”
When the photos of Trudeau in blackface were made public, the politician, already in the mist of a re-election campaign that started Sept. 11, had recently come under fire for pressuring his then-attorney general to drop corruption charges against a wealthy Canadian engineering firm, Time Magazine reported.
He’s been a longtime advocate for women and minority groups, and at least seven of the 35 members of his cabinet are from ethnic minorities, the magazine reported.
South African comedian Trevor Noah joked about Trudeau’s work for minorities on “The Daily Show.”
“So with the Canadian election just one month away, many are wondering if this blackface scandal is going to hurt Trudeau’s chances of being re-elected,” Noah said Thursday. “To be honest, I’m just sad to see another Black man being brought down.”
Broadcaster Piers Morgan criticized Trudeau in a Daily Mail column as “arguably the most woke, virtue-signalling and PC-crazed leader in the history of Mankind – or ‘Peoplekind’ as he insisted we rename it last year.”
He then asked, Trudeau “turns out to have a rather cracked halo?”