Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore “brownface” to an Arabian Nights-themed party in 2001, a moment captured in a yearbook picture published Wednesday by Time.
The photograph, taken while Trudeau was a teacher at the private West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver, shows the prime minister smiling while wearing a feathered turban, his face darkened in a practice with racist roots that has gotten other politicians in hot water.
“I attended an end-of-year gala where the theme was Arabian nights,” Trudeau said at a press conference Wednesday evening.” I dressed up in an Aladdin costume and put makeup on. I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better, but I didn’t, and I’m really sorry.”
The picture surfaced as Trudeau – who has made inclusiveness and openness to immigrants key parts of his platform – seeks a second term amid an ethics scandal and close competition from the opposition Conservative Party in Canada’s parliamentary races.
Zita Astravas, a spokeswoman for the Liberal Party of Canada that Trudeau leads, confirmed to Time that the controversial photo depicts the prime minister.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Hannah Knowles