New video of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in 'blackface' emerges

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

A video has emerged of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing ‘blackface’, a day after two similar incidents became public and he admitted such behaviour was racist.

The footage, which is undated but thought to have been filmed in the early 1990s, was obtained by Canada’s Global News network.

It appears to show Mr Trudeau’s face, arms and legs painted black. He would have been in his late teens or early twenties at the time.

Mr Trudeau had apologised earlier after a picture emerged of him attending a party wearing ‘brownface’. Another image of Mr Trudeau with darkened skin at a talent show was also made public.

The first photo, which was published by Time magazine, shows the leader wearing a turban and robe, with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck.

It was published in the 2001 yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in British Columbia where Mr Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics.

Justin Trudeau has apologised after a picture of him emerged in 'brownface' (Reuters)

Liberal Party spokesman Cameron Ahmad confirmed that photo was of Mr Trudeau and said it was taken at the school's annual dinner, which had an Arabian Nights theme.

Mr Trudeau, who launched his re-election campaign a week ago, said he should have known better.

He told reporters: ”In 2001, when I was a teacher in Vancouver I attended an end-of-year gala where the theme was Arabian Nights and I dressed up in an Aladdin costume and put make-up on.

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"I shouldn't have done that. I should've known better but I didn't. And I'm really sorry."

The liberal PM, who has several ethnic minority ministers in his cabinet, added: "I have made a number of calls to friends and colleagues tonight and I will have many more colleagues, many more calls to make."

As he fights to get his campaign back on track, Mr Trudeau added: "I'm going to be asking Canadians to forgive me for what I did. I shouldn't have done that. I take responsibility for it.

The Canadian prime minister said his actions were 'dumb' (AP)

"It was a dumb thing to do. I'm disappointed in myself. I'm p****d off at myself for having done it. I wish I hadn't done it but I did it, and I apologise for it."

The video and photos could spell more trouble for Mr Trudeau, who polls say is facing a serious challenge from Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

Reacting to the picture, Mr Scheer said: "Like all Canadians I was extremely shocked and disappointed when I learned of Justin Trudeau's actions this evening.

"Wearing brownface was an act of open mockery and racism. It was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019.

"And what Canadians saw this evening is someone with a complete lack of judgement and integrity, and someone who is not fit to govern this country."

Mr Trudeau launched his re-election campaign a week ago (AP)

Mr Trudeau has been admired by liberals around the world for his progressive policies, with Canada accepting more refugees than the United States.

But the 47-year-old son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was already vulnerable following one of the biggest scandals in Canadian political history, which arose when Mr Trudeau's former attorney general said he improperly pressured her to halt the criminal prosecution of a company in Quebec.

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