Justin Trudeau “deeply sorry” he appeared in ‘brownface’ nearly 20 years ago

Happened while a teacher in Vancouver and a student at high school

Justin Trudeau says he is deeply sorry for dressing up as Aladdin, complete with ‘brownface’, at an Arabian Nights themed party 18 years ago. A yearbook picture of Trudeau was published Wednesday by Time Magazine.

He was a teacher at a private school at the time.

He also admitted to a second such incident when he was in high school. He dressed up for a talent show and sang Harry Belafonte’s Day-O.

Trudeau said he didn’t know at the time it racist, but he does now, adding he should have known better.

Opposition parties say Trudeau’s behaviour was troubling and insulting.

Conservative Andrew Scheer said both incidents prove Trudeau is unfit to hold the office of Prime Minister. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was concerned about the impact it would have on young people of colour, hoping they would not lose faith in themselves or Canada.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims called it disgraceful, plain and simple, and demanded an apology. When Trudeau quickly apologized the council sent a Twitter message thanking him.

banner image via Time.com