Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has apologised just after a photo of him in brown-face make-up at a costume celebration in 2001 emerged.
The image was taken whilst he was a teacher at the West Point Grey Academy at an Arabian Nights themed gathering and appeared in the private school’s yearbook.
The photo obtained by Time Magazine shows the then 29-year-old with other members of the faculty. Many are in fancy dress, but Mr Trudeau is the only one particular who seems to have coloured his skin.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Trudeau mentioned: “In 2001, when I was a teacher in Vancouver I attended an finish-of-year gala exactly where the theme was Arabian Nights and I dressed up in an Aladdin costume and place make-up on.
“I should not have performed that. I should’ve identified greater but I did not. And I am truly sorry.”
Mr Trudeau, who has numerous men and women from ethnic minorities in his cabinet, added: “I have produced a quantity of calls to good friends and colleagues tonight and I will have numerous much more colleagues, numerous much more calls to make.”
He went on: “I am going to be asking Canadians to forgive me for what I did. I should not have performed that. I take duty for it.
“It was a dumb issue to do. I am disappointed in myself. I am p****d off at myself for obtaining performed it. I want I hadn’t performed it but I did it, and I apologise for it.”
Reacting to the image, the leader of Canada’s opposition Conservative Celebration, Andrew Scheer mentioned: “Like all Canadians I was particularly shocked and disappointed when I discovered of Justin Trudeau’s actions this evening.
“Wearing brown face as an act of open mockery and racism. It was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019.
“And what Canadians saw this evening is somebody with a full lack of judgement and integrity, and somebody who is not match to govern this nation.”
The photo is specifically embarrassing for Mr Trudeau as he has championed the rights of minority groups in the course of his 4 years in workplace.
It also comes just a week just after he launched his campaign for re-election.
In February this year he was accused of pressuring his then-lawyer common to drop corruption charges against a Canadian engineering firm, an accusation he denies.