Brownface, blackface photos cause scandal for Canada's Trudeau
TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign moved to contain a growing scandal Thursday after a yearbook photo surfaced of him in brownface at a 2001 “Arabian Nights” costume party and two other similar incidents came to light.
With the election a month away, he apologised and begged Canadians to forgive him.
Time magazine published the photo on Wednesday, saying it was taken from the yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in British Columbia where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics. It shows the then-29-year-old Trudeau in a turban and robe with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck.
Trudeau, who launched his re-election campaign a week ago, said he should have known better.
“I’m pissed off at myself. I’m disappointed in myself,” he told reporters on his campaign plane.
Trudeau is the latest in a string of politicians to get in trouble over racially offensive photos and actions from their younger days.
Earlier this year, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam faced intense pressure to resign after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page.
He denied being in the picture but admitted wearing blackface as a young man while portraying Michael Jackson at a dance party in the 1980s.
Since then, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has acknowledged wearing blackface in college, and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has apologised donning blackface during a college skit more than 50 years ago.
None of them stepped down.