Photo shows Canadian PM Justin Trudeau wearing brownface at 2001 party
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire after a photo emerged of him wearing brownface to a party at a school where he was a teacher nearly 20 years ago. Trudeau, who faces re-election next month, is expected to address the photo Wednesday evening.
Trudeau was a 29-year-old teacher at West Point Grey Academy when the picture was taken, Liberal Party spokesperson Zita Astravas said in a statement to CBS News. The photo, published by Time magazine Wednesday, was taken at an annual dinner, which had an “Arabian Nights” theme. Astravas said Trudeau was dressed as a character from Aladdin.
Trudeau, the son of late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, ran for federal office in 2015 on a number of progressive promises. Immediately after being sworn in, he made international headlines when he promised a diverse, gender-parity Cabinet and answering “because it’s 2015” when asked why he was doing it.
He launched his federal campaign for re-election this week, but Angus Reid Institute tracking indicated about 30% of Canadians approve of the job he’s done, while about 60% disapprove.
Last month, an ethics watchdog found he had violated federal conflict of interest rules by improperly trying to influence a former minister in relation to a criminal trial facing major Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, according to BBC News.