A man who attended an Arabian Nights party where Justin Trudeau wore brownface in 2001 to dress up as Aladdin has called the outfit ‘staggering’.
Roger Husband spoke to Global News to defend Trudeau’s costume but say it ‘stood out’ against those of the students he was teaching at West Point Grey Academy.
‘It was staggering, it was almost overpowering. It looked like an awful lot of work compared to what anyone else put into their outfits. It stood out,’ he said.
Husband however added that it was not seen as inappropriate and that no one thought of Trudeau as racist.
‘It wasn’t considered inappropriate at the time, and I say that because if it had been considered inappropriate the school would never have allowed it. Somebody would have stopped it.
Justin Trudeau dressed as Aladdin in 2001 to attend a party at West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver. He was 29
‘I agree that it was a misjudgment on his part. But it was a misjudgment that may not have been quite as severe in 2001 as it would be now,’ he said.
Trudeau continued his apology tour on Friday to try to put the scandal behind him.
It began on Wednesday when the image emerged just a week after he launched his re-election campaign.
He apologized for it and made reference to a second blackface incident when he was in high school.
A photograph of that incident, which happened in the late 1980s, soon emerged. It showed him dressed in blackface and wearing a suit to impersonate the Jamaican singer Harry Belafonte at a talent show to sing Day-O.
Trudeau dressed up as Harry Belafonte in the 1980s (left) and again in the 1990s (right)
Then a third image emerged of the Canadian which showed him again, with his face painted black, raising his hands in a video. It appeared to have been taken in the 1990s.
Trudeau apologized yesterday in Winnipeg at a press conference and begged constituents for forgiveness but the scandal followed him throughout the day.
At a town hall on Thursday night, he was hounded by an audience member who demanded that he answer whether or not more incidents would come to light.
‘Earlier today you were questioned about how many times you appeared in blackface or brownface – I’ll make it easy, is it possible to round to the nearest five?’ one man at the town hall asked Trudeau.
Dodging the question, Trudeau again refused to estimate how many times he had donned blackface, replying: ‘I’m not going to make light of the situation, I don’t think it’s something we should be making light of.’
The row is now hanging over his chances of re-election in five weeks.
Trudeau appeared at an event for stricter gun control in Toronto on Friday
Trudeau is shown on Friday continuing with his campaign in Toronto
The Canadian Prime Minister is determined to put the scandal behind him
Trudeau smiled throughout the day despite the ongoing controversy surrounding the incidents
On Thursday, he pleaded for forgiveness at a press conference in Winnipeg.
‘What I did hurt them, hurt people who shouldn’t have to face intolerance and bigotry because of their identity.
‘This is something that I deeply, deeply regret,’ Trudeau said.
‘Darkening your face, regardless of the context or the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface.
‘I should have understood that then and I never should have done it,’ he said.
Asked why he did not mention the third incident sooner, he said: ‘I shared the moments that I recollected but I recognize that is something absolutely unacceptable to do. It was blackface and that is just not right.’
‘This has been personally… a moment where I’ve had to reflect on the fact that wanting to do good and better isn’t good enough and you have to take responsibility for hurting many people who thought I was an ally and hopefully still think I am an ally.’
Trudeau went on: ‘When we reflect on mistakes we made in the past, we’re always going to be asking why did we do that?
‘It wasn’t a good idea, it was a terrible idea.
‘It was something that minimizes and takes advantage of a reality that I have not had to live with – of being discriminated against, being marginalized for the color of my skin.
‘I come from a place of privilege. I have to recognize that I let a lot of people down and I stand here today to reflect on that and ask for forgiveness,’ he said.