May 'deeply shocked' by Trudeau's wearing of racist makeup in past photos, video

WATCH ABOVE: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May tells Mercedes Stephenson it has been a tough week on the election campaign — with the Trudeau blackface controversy — and that she will hold a minority government to account if they fail to act on the climate emergency.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said she is “deeply shocked” by the photos and video that emerged this week showing Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau wearing blackface and brownface.

“I’m so deeply shocked,” May told The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson. “I usually don’t have trouble articulating my feelings, but I find this deeply troubling and really shameful behaviour and it’s inexplicable that Justin Trudeau could be three times recorded.

“I mean, it seems to be something he likes to do which is racist behaviour.”

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE – Video shows Trudeau in blackface in 3rd instance of racist makeup

On Wednesday, Time magazine published a yearbook photo from 2001 of the Liberal leader at an Arabian Nights-themed gala event at a private school in Vancouver where he once taught. In the photo, Trudeau is wearing dark makeup and a Turban.

WATCH: Trudeau apologizes after brownface photo surfaces

At a press conference Wednesday evening, Trudeau apologized for the photo and admitted to one other incident during high school where he performed the song Day-O during a talent competition “with makeup on.”

A photo of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in high school, at Montreal's Le collège Jean-de-Brébeu, wearing blackface.

A photo of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in high school, at Montreal's Le collège Jean-de-Brébeu, wearing blackface.

Credit: The Globe and Mail

However, on Thursday, a video obtained exclusively by Global News was published showing a third instance of racist dress by the federal leader.

In the video — which Trudeau has confirmed was shot during a costume day for river guides of a whitewater rafting operation in Quebec where he worked sometime between 1992 and 1994 — he appears to be covered in dark makeup.

WATCH: Justin Trudeau seen in blackface in Global News exclusive video

When asked whether Trudeau would be fit to be prime minister of Canada given the incidents, May said she belongs to a “tradition that is prepared to forgive.”

“But he has to express it to me and all Canadians why we should forgive him,” she said. “At this point, it’s his behaviour that hurt people. It hurts children of colour, it hurts Indigenous Peoples. It hurts all of us who care about really eradicating racism from this culture, from society. It puts it right in our face that racism is alive and well in Canada. And that is unforgivable.”


READ MORE:
Everything you need to know about the 2019 federal leaders’ debates

WATCH: An extended interview with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

When asked whether the Greens would support a Trudeau Liberal government in a minority situation, May said she needs to see what happens after the election, but said, “It’s hard to have any trust.”

“What is the will Canadians have expressed at the ballot box?” she said. “Because my number one commitment always goes toward doing what’s best for Canada.”

Green candidate admits to wearing racist makeup

May said she has “absolutely never” worn blackface or brownface herself, calling the act “appalling,” but added that Greg Malone, a well known satirical comedian and Green candidate for Avalon, N.L., admitted to the party that he had worn racist makeup during a comedy sketch on the show CODCO broadcast on CBC several decades ago.

May said she has not yet seen the skit.

WATCH: Green candidate once wore blackface on comedy show

“In retrospect, he wishes he hadn’t done it,” May said.

When asked if Malone should still be able to run as a Green candidate, May said it “wasn’t a hidden event,” that Malone had been upfront about the incident, and that it was part of a “national, very well-loved comedy show.”


READ MORE:
Singh tries to keep NDP on message amid anger over Trudeau’s ‘blackface’ images

“I think that the context of it being a comedy show in an era where it was broadcast on national television was not something that was hidden and it was not something that he would do today,” she said. “And I know Greg extremely well — there are not multiple incidents. And it wasn’t part of a private life entertainment that he thought was appropriate. So given the outrageousness of CODCO in the day, I think it falls in a different category.”

In an interview with Global News on Saturday, Malone said he let the party know about the skit because he “didn’t want anyone to be surprised.”

“One of the sketches that I did, I played Mahatma Gandhi who was one of my heroes,” Malone said. “And I was very excited about getting a chance to portray Gandhi, but I didn’t think about the fact that I was wearing makeup and you know blackface and stuff.”

He said people now have a “more sophisticated, nuanced understanding of racism, and in particular the American history of buffooning black people in a derogatory fashion at Ku Klux Klan rallies for entertainment.”

Trudeau faces backlash from opponents

Trudeau, who is seeking re-election, has received harsh backlash from his opponents.


READ MORE:
Trump ‘surprised’ by photos, video of Trudeau in brownface, blackface

Trudeau said at a campaign event on Friday that he had reached out to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who has condemned the images as personally hurtful.

“I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,” he said. “As I have been apologizing to Canadians who have suffered discrimination and intolerance their entire lives in ways some of us like me have never had to experience on a daily basis.”

WATCH: Singh says he wants private conversation so Trudeau doesn’t use it to ‘exonerate’ himself

Singh said he is open to talking to Trudeau, as long it remains a private conversation, declining to disclose what he’d say to Trudeau.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has also condemned the images and has claimed that Trudeau’s apology is insincere.

“I believe Canadians would have been able to accept his apology had he been open and transparent the first time, if he hadn’t lied when he was first given the opportunity to address it,” he said at a campaign event in New Brunswick on Friday. “Again, I think people are very concerned about the hypocrisy.”

-With files from Mercedes Stephenson, James Armstrong, Maryam Shah and the Canadian Press.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories