- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized again Thursday for images that surfaced this week of his wearing blackface and brownface years ago.
- Photos and a video show Trudeau in offensive makeup on at least three occasions dating from the early 1990s into the 2000s.
- In his second apology, Trudeau said his actions were “unacceptable” and a “terrible mistake.”
- Trudeau said he was unsure whether more such photos would come to light and said he had “not remembered” the pictures that were released Wednesday.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a second apology in 24 hours over several images that surfaced this week showing him in racist makeup years ago.
A photo of Trudeau, then 29, in brownface and wearing a turban during an “Arabian Nights”-themed party at the private West Point Grey Academy where he taught in 2001, was uncovered by Time on Wednesday. A second photo and a video obtained by Global News Canada of Trudeau in blackface have also come to light.
Trudeau on Wednesday apologized for the racist costumes and said he “should have known better.”
On Thursday, Trudeau offered up another apology during a press conference and said donning blackface “is always unacceptable.”
“Darkening your face, regardless of the context or the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface,” he told reporters. “I should have understood that then and I never should have done it.”
In response to a question about whether Trudeau remembered any other instances that might come to light, he said he had “not remembered” the pictures that were released Wednesday.
He said he was “wary of being definitive” about the number of instances because “the recent pictures that came out I had not remembered.”
He continued: “And I think the question is, ‘How can you not remember that?’ The fact is, I didn’t understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination every day.”
He called the costumes a “terrible mistake” and said he hoped he would be forgiven by people who considered him an ally.
“This has been personally a moment where I’ve had to reflect on the fact that wanting to do good and wanting to do better simply isn’t good enough,” he said.
“And you need to take responsibility for mistakes that hurt people who thought I was an ally – who hopefully, many of them still consider me an ally even though this was a terrible mistake.”
Canadian politicians have criticized Trudeau over the photos and have called the act “insulting.” Canada is deep in an election campaign, with Trudeau fighting for a second term as prime minister.