The world's particularly broken-hearted about Justin Trudeau in blackface.

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has long been one of the ‘good guys’.

A supporter and crusader for women’s rights, indigenous rights, immigrants and climate change, the popular leader is seen as quite “woke” and socially progressive amongst his constituents.

His image has been cleverly crafted and has largely – up until this point – been very believable.

Here’s Justine Trudeau’s apology speech. Post continues after video.

Video via Twitter

But Trudeau’s glowing image was dealt a mighty big blow on Wednesday after Time published an image of Trudeau dressed as Aladdin complete with dark skin makeup and a turban.

It was taken in 2001 when the now Prime Minister was a 29-year-old teacher. The event in question was a function for the private school he worked for.


As the story broke Trudeau was quick to apologise.

“I’m pissed off at myself. I’m disappointed in myself,” he told reporters.

During his apology he also came clean about a second even earlier offence from when he was in high school and blacked up at a talent show while singing the traditional Jamaican song Day-O.

Oh dear, two strikes.

justin trudeau
The second instance of blackface that came to light. Trudeau at a high school talent show. Image: Globe and Mail.

The third strike came just hours later, making Trudeau, no doubt his PR team, and in turn the rest of his supporters worldwide really squirm in discomfort.

This was no longer just a "mistake" it appeared to be more of a trend.

Canadian television broadcaster Global News is behind strike three, publishing a video of Trudeau wearing brownface makeup while sticking his tongue out.

The video was shot in the early 1990s but it's not clear where.


“This is something that I deeply, deeply regret," Trudeau told the cameras which he fronted immediately for a second time.

“What I did hurt them, hurt people who shouldn’t have to face intolerance and discrimination because of their identity."

He acknowledged his white privilege and the massive "blind spot" that gave him, while also speaking of his embarrassment.

Speaking after the third image emerged, Trudeau said he cannot remember how often he's worn blackface.

"I am wary of being definitive about this because of the recent pictures that came out, I had not remembered," he told reporters.

As the world watches on, Trudeau's reputation is not just being clobbered by the offensive incidents from his past, but also by his joyful opponents who were quick to call into question the prime minister's political future.

His main opponent Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has labelled him a liar, while the leader of the New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh gave the stinging truth bomb: "How do you look someone in the eye that has mocked the lived reality that I have lived?"

Prime Minister Trudeau Holds Media Availability After Racist Photos Are Uncovered
Trudeau fronts the media. Image: John Woods/Getty.

It's frustrating, because this is a man who has done a lot of good and stands for a lot of positive things. But has this scandal unearthed the kind of man Trudeau really is?

A Prime Minister with a really good PR team that have crafted him into the kind of politician his country's strong liberal backbone wanted to back?

Do three deliberate incidents of blackface from two decades ago, paint a picture that's hard to come back from?

Mitzie Hunter, a black member of Ontario's Liberal Party, thinks it's not representative of the man he is.

"This is a teachable moment for all of us. I accept his apology and I hope Canadians do too," she wrote.

It remains unclear if the trifecta of images will affect the Prime Minister, who is currently in the middle of an election campaign.

During his landslide victory speech in 2015 he told voters they'd elected, "a government that believes deeply in the diversity of our country."

With that in mind, it's unlikely he'll walk away unscathed.