Justin trudeau blackface, Canada’s prime minister, wore brownface makeup to a celebration at the school wherever he was teaching within the spring of 2001.
The photograph has not been antecedently reportable. the image was taken at AN “Arabian Nights”-themed gala. It shows Trudeau, then the 29-year-old son of the late former Prime Minister state capital Trudeau, sporting a turban and robes together with his face, neck and hands utterly darkened. The photograph seems within the 2000-2001 yearbook of West Point gray Academy, a personal day faculty wherever Trudeau was a coach.
Earlier this month, TIME obtained a replica of the yearbook, The View, with the photograph of Trudeau in brownface from Vancouver businessperson Michael Adamson, United Nations agency was a part of the West Point gray Academy community. Adamson wasn’t at the party, that was attended by faculty school, directors and oldsters of scholars. He same that he initial saw the photograph in Gregorian calendar month and felt it ought to be created public.
The yearbook from the 2000/2001 school year at West Point Grey Academy shows several people, some of whom are still on staff at the school, dressed up for the gala—however only Trudeau appears to have darkened his skin.
Justin Trudeau additionally admitted to sporting war paint makeup to sing the Jamaican folks song “Day O” in highschool for a talent show. techroughs has confirmed this image shows the Canadian prime minister.
Speaking to reporters Wed night, following TIME’s publication of the image, Trudeau apologized: “I shouldn’t have done that. I ought to have glorious higher and that i didn’t. I’m extremely sorry.” once asked if he thought the photograph was racist, he said, “Yes it had been. I didn’t contemplate it racist at the time, however currently we all know higher.”
Trudeau same he wore war paint “makeup” in highschool to sing “Day-O,” a Jamaican folks song splendidly performed by African-American singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte. TIME has confirmed that a photograph shows Trudeau at a college talent show sporting war paint ANd an Afro wig.
On Wed, Zita Astravas, the media relations lead of the party of North American country, that Trudeau is that the leader of, confirmed that the prime minister was within the image. “It was a photograph taken whereas he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school’s annual dinner that had a fancy dress theme of ‘Arabian Nights.’ He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a personality from fictional character,” same Astravas. Trudeau is coming up with on addressing the photograph to the media later this night, consistent with the Astravas. The prime minister’s official director of communications failed to come back multiple calls.
A third instance emerged Thursday—this one a coarse video showing Trudeau in war paint, raising his hands within the air. On weekday, Astravas confirmed that the video showed Trudeau from the first Nineties. It comes despite Trudeau being asked at his conference whether or not there have been the other incidents he wished to have up to.
This is a essential moment for Trudeau, United Nations agency began his re-election campaign on Sept. 11 under the cloud of a scandal over whether or not he pressured his then-attorney general to drop corruption charges against an outsized Canadian engineering firm. The party leader has championed minority teams throughout his nearly four years as prime minister and created his embrace of Canada’s several cultures a significant a part of his leadership. a minimum of seven of the thirty five members of Trudeau’s cupboard area unit from ethnic minorities.
Trudeau has antecedently garnered regular media attention within the Canadian and international press for his selection of apparel. In 2018, he was mocked for the flowery Indian garb that he, his better half and their 3 youngsters wore throughout a visit to Asian country.
Trudeau was additionally criticized by creator Henry Martyn Robert Davidson, United Nations agency could be a member of the Haida autochthonal individuals, attributable to a tattoo on his left arm that’s supported the artist’s work. Davidson same in 2016 that the Trudeau government’s approval of a fossil fuel facility opposed by the Haida showed the prime minister wasn’t genuinely sensitive to considerations of Canada’s autochthonal population.
TIME reached intent on multiple people that attended West Point Grey’s spring gala in 2001, as well as 3 of the four ladies within the image with Trudeau. Most were reluctant to speak concerning it. One former employee declined to comment, citing loyalty to Trudeau. Others same they failed to bear in mind Trudeau at the party. 2 individuals contacted by TIME acknowledged the existence of the image, that has been the topic of gossip among the West Point gray community.
Trudeau wasn’t the sole person in costume at the 2001 gala event. Of the people in six pictures from the event printed within the yearbook, Trudeau seems to be the sole one United Nations agency darkened his skin. many that dressed up for the “Arabian Nights” gala area unit still at the varsity, as well as current schoolmaster Sir Leslie Stephen Anthony, United Nations agency is pictured sporting what seems to be a crown.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire pay their respects at the SSikh Golden Temple in Amritsar on Feb. 21, 2018.
Narinder Nanu—AFP/Getty Images
Anthony did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the photo and the event.
Trudeau taught classes, including French, until he left after the spring of 2001. West Point Grey Academy is currently among the most expensive private day schools in Vancouver, with annual tuition ranging from just under $22,000 to about $23,500. During his 2015 election campaign, Trudeau downplayed his experience at the private academy, instead focusing on his time teaching at a public school in Vancouver.
Trudeau is far from the only public figure who darkened his skin in the past for a costume.
The United States has a long and painful history of white performers darkening their faces to demean and dehumanize African-Americans—a practice made popular by minstrel shows in the 19th century. Blackface continued into the 20th century in Broadway shows and Hollywood movies.
In February, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam first apologized for, and then denied he was in a 1984 medical school yearbook photo that surfaced earlier this year showing a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan hood. Despite criticism, Northam declined to step aside. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey also apologized this year after a radio interview from the 1960s surfaced in which she was described as wearing blackface.