Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Apologizes For Wearing Brownface At A Party In 2001: ‘I’m Really Sorry’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is deeply sorry for dressing up in brownface for a party while he was a teacher in 2001. He says he ‘should have known better’ after the pic surfaced.

Another politician is having to address an old photo in black or brown face, and this time it’s a pretty big fish. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is apologizing for wearing brownface makeup to go as Aladdin to a party at the school where he was teaching in Vancouver in 2001. What’s wild is the photo has existed in the 2000-2001 yearbook of West Point Grey Academy, and is just now coming to light 18 years later, obtained by Time magazine on Sept. 18.

The photo shows a 29-year-old Justin in an Aladdin costume with his face, neck and hands painted brown while surrounded by other teachers. He completely owned up to it immediately, as he was traveling aboard  a plane with a pack of reporters as the story broke. Justin, 47, came out and told them “In 2001 when I was a teacher when I was in Vancouver, I attended an end of the year gala where the theme was Arabian nights. 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.”

He continued, “There are people who have made mistakes in this life and we make decisions on what they actually do or what they did on a case by case basis. I deeply regret that I did that and I should have known better but I didn’t.” Justin was asked about the timing of the photo coming to light, as he just launched his re-election campaign and is in a close battle with conservative Andrew Sheer. “Obviously I regret that I did it. It’s not about timing, it’s about something I shouldn’t have done,” Justin said contritely. When asked if he would resign, he simply said “I take responsibility for my decision to do that. It was something I didn’t think was racist at the time and now I recognize it was something racist to do and I am deeply sorry.”


Believe it or not, he admitted that the photo was not the first time he donned brownface. When asked if the yearbook photo was the only time he had ever done that in his life, Justin said “When I was in high school I dressed up at a talent show,” and that he had “makeup” on to sing a song. Honestly is always the best policy, because who knows if photos of that are out there.

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