Time magazine reported Wednesday that Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau wore “brownface,” at an ‘Arabian Nights,’ themed party in 2001.
The term “brownface” is apparently a variant of blackface, seen as an offensive and racist ethnic impersonation by white of people of color done by darkening the skin.
The magazine said it obtained a copy of a yearbook form the private school where Trudeau taught.
In the photo published by Time, Trudeau, then 29, is wearing a turban, a robe and he has his face, neck and arms covered in what appears to be body paint or a similar cosmetic substance. Time reported that the image is from the West Point Grey Academy 2000-2001 yearbook.
Reporters traveling with Trudeau confirmed that authenticity of the image, Global News correspondent David Akin tweeted.
Time reported that a Vancouver businessman gave the magazine a copy of the yearbook. He told the magazine that he discovered the photo this past summer and wanted it public.
Trudeau, who is on the campaign trail, addressed the photograph saying, “I shouldn’t have done that. I’m really sorry.”
Global News correspondent David Akin reported: “Trudeau admits to ‘brownface’ makeup in a high school event. Did it again in 2001. ‘I wish I hadn’t done it but I did it…”
The National Council of Canadian Muslims had asked for an apology.
“The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is calling on the Prime Minister to apologize for wearing “brownface”/”blackface” at an Arabian Nights Party in 2001,” a tweet reads.
“Seeing the Prime Minister in brownface/blackface is deeply saddening,” said NCCM’s Executive Director Mustafa Farooq, “The wearing of blackface/brownface is reprehensible, and hearkens back to a history of racism and an Orientalist mythology which is unacceptable. While we recognize that people can change and evolve over two decades, it is critical that the Prime Minister immediately and unequivocally apologizes for his wearing of brownface/blackface.”
Late Wednesday, it was confirmed a second photo showed him in blackface at a high school talent doing the Harry Belafonte hit Day-O.
And early Thursday, Global News reported it had obtained a video of Trudeau in blackface.
This post will be updated.