Three shocking Trudeau photos: Scandal ignites as Liberal leader's images from past surface

Justin Trudeau is faced with harsh criticism and tough questions after TIME published a photo of him from 2001 in brownface makeup. The onslaught of criticism, however, has led to more shocking discoveries: images of the Liberal leader wearing racist makeup at two additional events from his youth.


When faced asked to explain himself TIME photo, the leader was apologetic:

“I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better,” Trudeau said following the image’s release.

Trudeau confirmed that the first photo was taken at an “Arabian Nights” themed end-of-year gala while he was a private school teacher in Vancouver in 2001.


Canadaland has published a second photo of Trudeau at the gala, which is from the school’s April 2001 newsletter.

In the same apology, Trudeau also disclosed that in high school, he sang the Jamaican song Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) in a talent show with makeup on, but did not provide additional specifics. Images of the alleged performance began to surface on the web:

Still, Trudeau was relentlessly apologetic.

“It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time,” Trudeau said. “It was a dumb thing to do. I’m pissed off at myself.”

Thursday morning, after the scandal broke, Global News released a third instance of Trudeau in racist makeup.

Scheer admits his campaign knew about shocking photo

Andrew Scheer, the leader of the federal Conservative party, made a public statement condemning Trudeau’s photo.

“It was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019,” Scheer said.

“What Canadians saw this evening is someone with a complete lack of judgement and integrity and someone who is not fit to govern this country.”

Following the release of additional images and a video of Trudeau in brownface and blackface, Scheer said this shows a habit of Trudeau’s and Canadians maybe would have been able to accept his apology if he hadn’t lied about it, saying that there were only two incidents but now there are at least three.

“An apology based on a lie is not a real apology,” Scheer told the public during an announcement in Quebec. “One set of rules for himself and one set of rules for the rest of us.”

The Conservative leader said he personally became aware of the initial photo when it was published by TIME and he first saw the video on Global News on Thursday morning. But he did admit that “an individual” approached his campaign with a video that was sent to a news outlet for verification. He did not specify when his campaign first saw the video on Trudeau in blackface.

Jagmeet Singh appeals to youth after scandal erupts

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh responded to the photo saying it “jarred” him. With tears in his eyes, Singh said he is commenting to send a message to people in Canada, particularly young people, to not give up on Canada.

“I always fought against racism but it’s my friends who sent messages and I remembered it wasn’t the same...for everyone,” Singh said.

“We are going to come together and take care of one another.”

Scheer responded to Singh’s statement, commending the NDP leader for his “genuine concern,” speaking on behalf of many Canadians who have faced racist actions.

“[Jagmeet Singh] responded with a lot of class and dignity,” Scheer said.

Singh said that Canadians will have to answer the question of whether or not Trudeau is in fact racist.

“I can tell you that I am deeply troubled by what this means to Canada,” he said on Thursday morning.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May took to social media to make a statement about the photo saying she is “deeply shocked” by the “racism.”

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier also took to social media to comment on the photo of Trudeau, calling him “the biggest hypocrite in the country.”

When asked if he should be forced to resign and the general future as the leader of the Liberal party, Trudeau is asking Canadians to forgive him but will continue to fight against racism and discrimination.

“I have made a number of calls to friends and colleagues tonight, and I will have many more calls tonight,” Trudeau said.

He was also asked if there are additional photos or racist incidents that Canadians to be aware of. Trudeau responded by saying he has “always been more enthusiastic about costumes than is sometimes appropriate.” Trudeau says this calls for more “important conversations.”

Here’s what Canadians are saying about the photo on social media: