New images of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing blackface makeup emerged on Canadian television Thursday, throwing his floundering re-election bid into further disarray.
Released by broadcaster Global News, and confirmed to AFP by his campaign as being Trudeau “in the early 1990s,” the footage depicts the Liberal leader in ripped jeans and a t-shirt, his arms up and dark makeup on his face.
Late Wednesday, Trudeau apologized after Time magazine published a photograph of him wearing dark makeup at a party 18 years ago.
He also admitted to wearing similar makeup in his teens when he sang Harry Belafonte’s 1956 hit “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” at a high school talent contest.
“I have worked all my life to try to create opportunities for people, fight against racism and intolerance,” he told a televised news conference on his campaign aircraft.
“I can say I made a mistake when I was younger and I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had known better then, but I didn’t and I’m deeply sorry for it.”
“Now I recognize it was something racist to do,” he said, acknowledging that his enthusiasm for costumes — which has also included dressing as Clark Kent/Superman and a “Star Wars” rebel pilot for Halloween — has not always been “appropriate.”
Trudeau, 47, whose party won a landslide victory in 2015, has already been under attack for an ethics lapse and other controversies.
The controversial images are fresh blows, coming out one week into a federal election campaign with Trudeau’s party in a tight contest against the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer.
Trudeau was scheduled to campaign in Winnipeg and Saskatoon on Thursday.
The election is set for October 21.