Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about a recent blackface scandal during an interview on a Canadian talk show.
The first episode of season two of “New Mom, Who Dis?,” which appears on Facebook Watch, was released on Wednesday.
— Carl Vallée (@carlvallee) October 9, 2019
Host Jessi Cruickshank sat down with Trudeau for a portion of the guest appearance.
But Trudeau also fielded questions from an audience of children.
“Why did you paint your face brown?” one girl asked the Canadian leader.
“It was something I shouldn’t have done because it hurt people. It’s not something you should do and that is something that I learned and I didn’t know it back then, but I know it now,” he replied.
The child also asked if Trudeau painted his “nose and hands brown.”
“Yeah, and it was the wrong thing to do,” Trudeau said.
The Justin Trudeau blackface scandal
Trudeau apologized last month shortly after Time magazine published a yearbook photo of him wearing a turban and robe, with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck.
Justin Trudeau wasn’t some random innocent child in these 2001 blackface photos.
He was 30-years-old and the son of one of Canada’s best known prime ministers pic.twitter.com/5qqrr5xq4i
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) September 19, 2019
The Canadian premier said the offending photo — in which his arms are wrapped around a woman he described as “a close friend” — was taken at an annual dinner for West Point Grey Academy, a high school where he was a teacher at the time. He explained the event had an “Arabian Nights” theme that year and he went dressed as a character from “Aladdin.”
Trudeau said he would not resign, but that he should have known better. While he did not consider the costumes racist at the time, society now knows better, he said.
“I’m pissed off at myself, I’m disappointed in myself,” he said. “I’m going to ask Canadians to forgive me for what I did. I shouldn’t have done that. I take responsibility for it. It was a dumb thing to do.”
Trudeau, 47, also acknowledged it was not the first time he had painted his face. He said he previously performed a version of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day-O),” a Jamaican folk song, during a talent show. He did not mention the third instance.
Trudeau said he has always been more enthusiastic about costumes than is “sometimes appropriate.”
MORE: Justin Trudeau Forced to Admit He’s the Screaming Guy Wearing Full-Body ‘Blackface’ in New Video
“These are the situations I regret deeply,” he added.
Other instances of Trudeau donning black or brown-face have since come to light.