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Video of Justin Trudeau in blackface emerges in third instance of Canadian prime minister darkening skin

2019-09-19

A video of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing blackface emerged Thursday, furthering the troubles of the Canadian leader a day after his reelection campaign was jolted by the publication of a two-decade old image of Trudeau donning brownface in an Aladdin costume.

The video, published by the TV station Global News, represents at least the third instance of the Liberal Party leader darkening his skin. In the brief video, a younger Trudeau raises his arms and smiles.

The Liberal Party acknowledged the video showed Trudeau.

“We can confirm that it is him and it’s from the early 1990s,” party spokesperson Guy Gallant told the Daily News in an email.

Trudeau, 47, told reporters on his campaign jet Wednesday evening that there was just one other instance of him assuming a racist guise outside of the brownface costume from 2001 — when he was in high school and performed the Jamaican folk song “Day-O” in a talent show. That claim was quickly refuted by the publication of the video.

EXCLUSIVE: Video shows Trudeau in blackface in 3rd instance of racist makeup#cdnpoli #elxn43 https://t.co/0pf8uZgJ1b

Trudeau declined to say whether there he had assumed blackface any other times in a Thursday afternoon news conference.

“It is obvious that this is something was deeply regrettable. I am wary of being definitive about this, because the recent pictures that came out, I had not remembered,” the head of state said. “And I think the question is: ‘How can you not remember that?’ I didn’t understand how hurtful this is.”

Trudeau also said he had avoided discussing the times he worn blackface because “quite frankly I was embarrassed.”

The first image to come to light, published by Time magazine, showed Trudeau at a school event at West Point Grey Academy in 2001. He taught at the Vancouver private school through the spring of that year.

The explosive flurry of images have rocked the election between Trudeau’s Liberal Party and the opposition Conservative Party. Trudeau has also been nagged by claims he pressured his former attorney general to drop corruption charges against a construction company.

The election is set for Oct. 21.