Canada ‘This thing is a wildfire’: Trudeau campaign reeling from racist makeup revelations
Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing 'brownface' costume in 2001
A yearbook photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing "brownface" makeup at a 2001 costume party detonated Wednesday on the federal campaign trail, instantly tarnishing the Liberal leader's bona fides as a champion of inclusivity and tolerance and stopping the party's re-election momentum squarely in its tracks.
TORONTO —On the night that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swept to his landslide victory in 2015, he said voters had chosen “a government that believes deeply in the diversity of our country.”
In the four years since, he has cast himself as a global standard-bearer for inclusion, making it the center of his political platform and public persona like few leaders anywhere ever had. He swore in a diverse, gender-balanced cabinet. He admitted more than 25,000 refugees from Syria and went to the airport to greet the first arrivals. His government put Viola Desmond — a black woman who spurred the end of segregation in Nova Scotia — on the 10-dollar bill.
Fallout from Trudeau's brownface photo bombshell sure to dominate campaign
OTTAWA — It won't be campaigning as usual for Justin Trudeau today as the Liberal leader grapples with the fallout from a bombshell that landed on the campaign trail. An 18-year-old photo surfaced Wednesday of him dressed elaborately as Aladdin, with his face and hands blackened by makeup. Trudeau apologized profusely for having indulged in what he acknowledged to be a racist act during an "Arabian Nights"-themed party at the Vancouver private school where he once taught. He conceded it will take some doing to restore his image as a champion of diversity and tolerance.
Now the emergence of images from years or decades ago in which Trudeau wore blackface or brownface have dealt the Liberal leader’s assiduously crafted image anda potentially crippling blow.
“This thing is a wildfire,” said Darrell Bricker, chief executive of the polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs. “All of a sudden there’s just a picture, and you don’t have to explain it. Everyone knows what it is.”
Trudeau’s Liberal Party has been locked in a tight race withahead of the Oct. 21 vote. Federal elections in Canada are often won or lost in the ethnically diverse middle-class suburban constituencies outside Toronto and Vancouver.
“The Conservatives are really motivated, and they really want Trudeau gone,” Bricker said. “The Liberals were holding their noses a bit, even before today, and weren’t as motivated. So this is a big problem for them.”
Exclusive: Video shows Trudeau in blackface in 3rd instance of racist makeup
Global News has obtained video showing Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in blackface, the third instance of racist dress to come to light in 12 hours. It’s not clear when or where the video was taken, but the video, obtained exclusively by Global News, shows Trudeau covered in what appears to be dark makeup and raising his hands in the air while laughing, sticking his tongue out and making faces. He's wearing a white T-shirt, and his jeans are ripped at the knees. It appears as though his arms and legs are covered in makeup as well.
Trudeau, 47, apologized Wednesday after Time magazine published a 2001 photograph of Trudeau with his face darkened and wearing a feathered turban. The yearbook photo was taken when Trudeau was a teacher at the private West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver; he said he was attending a party with an Arabian Nights theme.
“It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do,” an ashen Trudeau told reporters aboard his campaign plane. “I am deeply sorry.”
He said there also an incident in which he wore blackface in high school. A picture showed his face darkened as he sang “Banana Boat Song (Day-O).”
Asked if there were other instances in which he wore racist makeup, he declined to give a direct answer, saying “these are the situations that I regret.”
Then, Thursday morning,. The seconds-long clip, which a Liberal Party spokesman said was filmed in the early 1990s, shows a darkened Trudeau waving his arms and sticking out his tongue. Trudeau turned 20 in 1991. The video was published by Global News.
Trudeau delays schedule to apologize to community leaders across Canada
OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is delaying his campaign plans today to make phone calls to candidates and to leaders in different ethnic communities across the country. He's trying to deal with the fallout from the release last night of a controversial image of a 29-year-old Trudeau wearing dark paint on his hands and face while dressed as Aladdin. Trudeau apologized profusely for wearing the costume and makeup to a theme gala at theHe's trying to deal with the fallout from the release last night of a controversial image of a 29-year-old Trudeau wearing dark paint on his hands and face while dressed as Aladdin.
Scheer, whose Conservative Party has run election ads warning Trudeau is “not as advertised,” said the emergence of the video showed Trudeau’s apology was “based on a lie.”
Scheer said his campaign was approached with the video, and the campaign turned it over to reporters.
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, called the images “troubling” and “insulting.”
Singh said the images were evidence of “a pattern of behavior of making light of the struggles that people face.”
“Young kids are going to see not one, not two, but multiple images of the prime minister mocking their lived reality,” he said. Trudeau has not called him.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May said she felt “physically ill” when she saw the photos.
“At that point in his life, I think you’d have to say he was unconsciously racist,” she said. “I would not say that the man I know today was a racist, but I couldn’t have imagined that photo, either.”
Trudeau, who was in Winnipeg on Thursday, canceled morning campaign events and hunkered down with his advisers. He was expected to address the Canadian public later in the day.
Trudeau’s Blackface Controversy Manifests As Racist Graffiti In B.C. .
OTTAWA — A federal Liberal candidate in B.C. says his campaign signs were vandalized in an attempt to tie his campaign to recently surfaced racist images of the prime minister in blackface. Stephen Fuhr told HuffPost Canada Thursday that his face was coloured in — with the exception of his mouth and eyes — with thick, black marker. “All parties experience some sort of vandalism. It just kind of goes with the punches,” he said. “This was a little different situation.”He claimed vandals are trying to smear his campaign by linking him to the current controversy embroiling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.“They didn’t knock the sign over or take it out or rip it in half.