For the third time in the past day, a photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing offensive makeup has emerged.
On Thursday morning, Global News published an article that includes a video of a long-haired Trudeau wearing what appears to be blackface. The grainy footage shows Trudeau opening his mouth and thrusting his arms in the air while wearing makeup that makes his skin look black.
“We can confirm that it is him and it’s from the early 1990s,” a spokesperson for the Liberal Party told HuffPost in an email.
Trudeau apologized later Thursday, noting the racist history of blackface.
“What I did hurt people who shouldn’t have to face intolerance and discrimination because of their identity. This is something that I deeply, deeply regret,” he said at a press conference following a campaign event. “I didn’t see that because of the layers of privilege that I have, and for that I am deeply sorry.”
When a reporter asked twice exactly how many times he has worn blackface or brownface, he did not answer.
“I am wary of being definitive about this because the recent pictures that came out, I had not remembered,” he said, when another reporter asked him to delineate how many times. “Frankly, I didn’t understand how hurtful this was to people who live with discrimination every day.”
The bombshell report is the latest damaging blow to Trudeau’s reputation.
On Wednesday, Time magazine broke the story that Trudeau wore brownface makeup and a turban while attending an “Arabian Nights” themed party in 2001. The photo appeared in the 2000-2001 yearbook for West Point Grey Academy, a prestigious private school in Vancouver where Trudeau worked as a teacher.
Trudeau, who was 29 years old when the incident occurred, apologized for the move that he now admits was “racist.”
“I made a mistake when I was younger and I wish I hadn’t,” Trudeau told reporters Wednesday. “I should have known better then, but I didn’t. And I did it. And I am deeply sorry for it.”
The Liberal leader said he didn’t consider the makeup and outfit to be offensive at the time, but “now we know better.”
“I’m asking Canadians to forgive me for what I did,” Trudeau continued. “I shouldn’t have done that. It was a dumb thing to do. I’m disappointed in myself. I’m pissed off at myself for having done it. I apologize for it,” he added.
“This is something unacceptable and it is racist.”
On Wednesday, Liberal spokesperson Zita Astravas said Trudeau was “dressed as a character from Aladdin.”
Trudeau also admitted there was another incident of him wearing makeup. He said that while he was in high school, he sang the song “Day-O” during a performance that was first made popular by Jamaican-American singer Harry Belafonte.
That photo also emerged on social media on Wednesday. No official response was provided by the Liberals or Trudeau in response to the image.
Trudeau, who has served as prime minister since 2015, said he was taking responsibility for his actions. He added that he has been “enthusiastic” about costumes in the past, and now he deeply regrets those actions.
The damning images surfaced as Trudeau and the Liberals are in the midst of an election campaign.
This story has been updated with confirmation from the Liberal Party and comments from Trudeau. HuffPost Canada’s Ryan Maloney and The Canadian Press contributed reporting.
REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.