Justin Trudeau Responds to His Picture in Brownface at 2001 ‘Arabian Nights’ Party

 

A picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing brownface makeup surfaced on the internet earlier today (Sept. 18). 

The picture shows Trudeau wearing brownface to an “Arabian Nights”-themed gala at West Point Grey Academy, a private school he was teaching at in Spring 2001.

According to TIME who obtained the photograph, Trudeau showed up dressed up as Aladdin, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened. 

TIME obtained the photo when they got a copy of their yearbook, The View, from Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson, who was part of the West Point Grey Academy community.

Trudeau has finally spoken to reporters about the picture. 

I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better, but I didn’t and I’m really sorry,” says Trudeau. “I take responsibility for my decision to do that. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have known better. It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do and I am deeply sorry.”

According to Trudeau, this is not the only time he has wore brownface. He also wore dark makeup while performing at a talent show in high school. 

I didn’t think it was racist at the time,” says Trudeau. 

However, Trudeau states that he will not resign from the campaign, but rather take responsibility for his actions and reflect. 

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