'I'm P****d Off At Myself': Canada PM Trudeau Responds To 'Brownface' Controversy
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologised after a photo surfaced of him wearing 'brownface' makeup to a private school party in 2001.
TIME Magazine has obtained a photograph of the incident, which shows the then 29-year-old posing with three women for an 'Arabian Nights' themed gala.
Trudeau, the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, is wearing a turban and robes, with his face, neck and hands covered in dark makeup.
The image appears in 'The View', West Point Grey Academy's 2000-2001 yearbook. Trudeau was a teacher at the school at the time.
In a brief statement to the media on Thursday morning, Trudeau confirmed that he attended the end of year gala in an Aladdin costume, with makeup on.
"I shouldn't have done it. I should have known better, but I didn't," he said. "And I'm really sorry."
He explained the he "takes full responsibility for my decision to do that," adding that it was something he "didn't think was racist at the time," but "now recognises it was something racist to do".
The PM also confirmed that it was not the first time he had painted his skin, explaining that he had dressed up at a talent show in high school and sang a traditional Jamaican folk song.
"I'm pi***d off at myself, obviously, I'm disappointed at myself and I'm apologising to Canadians," he continued.
The controversy couldn't come at a worse time for the PM who is preparing for next month's election.
He suggested he would not resign by explaining that he would be asking Canadians to forgive him for what he did.
The National Council of Canadia Muslims has slammed the PM.
"Seeing the prime minister in brownface/blackface is deeply saddening," executive director Mustafa Farooq said.
"The wearing of blackface/brownface is reprehensible, and hearkens back to a history of racism and an Orientalist mythology which is unacceptable," he continued.
New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh has also slammed Trudeau, labelling the image "troubling" and "insulting".
"It's making a mockery of someone for what they live and what their lived experiences are," he said.
"Racism is real. People in this room have felt it, have heard this story. I've experienced it in my life. he's got to answer those questions".