Justin Trudeau 'deeply sorry' after yearbook photo of him in 'brownface' emerges
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been forced to apologise after a yearbook photo emerged of him in 'brownface'.
The image, which was published in a recent article in Time Magazine, shows Trudeau wearing brown makeup and a turban while dressed as Aladdin at an Arabian Nights-themed gala at West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver - a private school where the politician used to work.
Speaking to journalists after the article was published, Trudeau stated: "I take responsibility for my decision to do that. I shouldn't have done it. I should have known better. It was something that I didn't think was racist at the time, but now I recognise it was something racist to do and I am deeply sorry."
However, the image has provoked widespread outrage in Canada, with many pundits, politicians, and journalists criticising the supposedly-liberal leader's past actions.
Watch Trudeau's apology below:
Commenting on the controversy, Canadian Greens leader Elizabeth May tweeted: "I am deeply shocked by the racism shown in the photograph of Justin Trudeau. He must apologize for the harm done and commit to learning and appreciating the requirement to model social justice leadership at all levels of government. In this matter he has failed. [sic]"
Meanwhile, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims Mustafa Farooq stated: "Seeing the prime minister in brownface/blackface is deeply saddening. The wearing of blackface/brownface is reprehensible and hearkens back to a history of racism and an Orientalist mythology which is unacceptable."
When asked if he had ever engaged in blackface or brownface on other occasions, Justin Trudeau told news reporters that he had also worn make-up when he was a student performing at a talent show in high school. This picture has also now leaked to social media. Only time will tell whether this scandal will affect Trudeau's plans for re-election.