Trudeau Apologizes After Brownface Photo Surfaces – The New York Times
Initially, Mr. Northam apologized for appearing in the yearbook photo, which shows a man in blackface makeup standing next to someone wearing a Klan robe and hood. But he later insisted that he was actually not either of the people in the picture. He has refused calls to resign and remains in office.
The photo of Mr. Trudeau quickly became the dominant topic on Canadian news websites.
Many Canadians are of South Asian and Middle Eastern descent, and Mr. Trudeau has four Sikhs in his cabinet. Those communities have been an important source of support for the Liberals and Mr. Trudeau, particularly in suburban areas around Toronto, which are seen as key electoral battlegrounds in the election
But on a disastrous state trip to India earlier in the year, Mr. Trudeau attracted ridicule for wearing flashy silk and gold-embroidered outfits and pointed, red silk shoes. Though intended as a gesture of respect for Indian culture, it was widely seen in Canada as a cringe-inducing game of dress-up.
On Wednesday night, while repeatedly apologizing for the brownface makeup and the hurt it can cause people who have faced discrimination, Mr. Trudeau said that he had “always been more enthusiastic about costumes than sometimes is appropriate.”
On Wednesday, Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the New Democratic Party, who is a Sikh, said Mr. Trudeau’s costume was “insulting” and suggested that the prime minister’s behavior shows that he may not be the same person in private as he portrays himself in public.
Last year, Mr. Trudeau was accused of groping a reporter in 2000 while he was still a private citizen. Mr. Trudeau rejected the allegation, and it was largely forgotten.
“Who is the real Mr. Trudeau?” Mr. Singh asked reporters. “Is it the one behind closed doors, the one when the cameras are turned off that no one sees? Is that the real Mr. Trudeau? Because more and more, it seems like it is.”