A photograph dug up by Time appears to show prime minister Justin Trudeau wearing “brownface” while at a themed party in 2001.
In the photo, the then 29-year-old Trudeau is seen with several women while dressed up in a stereotypical costume with his entire face painted.
The racist photo was allegedly taken in 2001 at an “Arabian Nights” party at a private school where Trudeau was teaching. The school in question was West Point Grey Academy, in Vancouver, B.C. and Trudeau taught several classes at the school.
Liberal party confirms the photograph
The leader of the Liberal Party’s media relations team, Zita Astravas admitted that the photo is in fact of the prime minister.
“It was a photo taken while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of ‘Arabian Nights.’ He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin,” said Astravas.
Update: PM spokesperson says: I can confirm it is him. It was a photo taken in 2001 while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school's annual dinner which had a costume theme of Arabian Nights. He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin.— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) September 18, 2019
The photograph is the latest hit to Trudeau’s now-crumbling progressive and fresh image. The revelation comes at a time when the Liberal party has been attempting to save face from the damning SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Several people in the photo were contacted about Trudeau. Some said they couldn’t recall Trudeau at the party, while two people were able to confirm that it was in fact him.
Party leaders reply to the shocking photograph
Shortly after the story broke, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh responded to the photograph by calling it “troubling” and “insulting”.
“It's troubling. It's really, it's insulting,” said @theJagmeetSingh about the Time Magazine report that Justin Trudeau appeared in brownface in 2001. "What does that say about what he thinks about people who…because of the colour of their skin face challenges…" #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/98aDXvjFo8— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) September 18, 2019
Trudeau spoke to reporters apologizing for the photograph and admitting that he had performed with some “make up” on while in high school.
“I’m pissed off at myself. I’m disappointed in myself,” said Trudeau before admitting that the incident was in fact racist.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information comes out