Democratic lawmaker: Trudeau blackface photos 'disgusting'

Democratic lawmaker: Trudeau blackface photos 'disgusting'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresWe can't lose sight of Ortega's abuses in Nicaragua Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell wins Democratic primary MORE (D-N.J.) called Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauTrudeau: Canada preparing for potential 'disruptions' after US election Trump's COVID 'October surprise' might make him a better candidate — and person 'Get well' messages pour in from foreign capitals after Trump positive coronavirus test MORE's use of brownface and blackface "disgusting" after images and footage of the Canadian prime minister wearing dark face paint surfaced this week. 

"I find it disgusting that the PM of Canada, Justin Trudeau has dressed up in blackface and brownface numerous times. That he was a teacher in at least one of these instances is even more disgusting," the lawmaker tweeted Thursday. 

"He was an educator, someone who should be bettering the minds of his students to create a more tolerant society. Instead, he partook in a racist practice that has been used to mock and denigrate for more than a century,"  he added. 

An image surfaced Wednesday of Trudeau wearing brownface as part of an "Aladdin" costume for an "Arabian Nights"-themed party.

While apologizing for that incident, he also admitted to wearing dark makeup while singing the Harry Belafonte song “Day-O” during a high school talent show. 


He had also darkened his face in a video obtained by Global News. It was not clear where or when the video was taken.

Trudeau apologized for his actions and acknowledged the racist history of blackface.

"This is something that I deeply, deeply regret. Darkening your face, regardless of the context or the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface. I should've understood that then, and I never should’ve done it," he said during a Thursday press conference. 

He also said that he was "embarrassed" by what he did. He has said he will not resign and told reporters he did not want to say definitively whether there were other instances of blackface. 

"I am wary of being definitive about this because the recent pictures that came out, I had not remembered," he said. "I have always acknowledged that I come from a place of privilege but I now need to acknowledge that that comes with a massive blind spot."