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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had to weather questioning from two children over his decision to darken his skin at a school party while working as a teacher.

The exchange occurred during an episode of the Facebook Watch show “New Mom, Who Dis?” posted on Wednesday.

“Why did you paint your face brown?” a girl standing with her twin sister asked Trudeau.

“Ooh, it was something I shouldn’t have done because it hurt people,” he said. “It’s not something that you should do and that is something that I learned. I didn’t know it back then but I know it now — and I’m sorry I hurt people.”


Trudeau apologized last month for wearing brownface makeup to an “Arabian Nights” party at the private school where he was teaching in 2001, saying, “I should have known better.”

A photo showed Trudeau, then the 29-year-old son of the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, clad in a white turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened significantly.

Wednesday’s episode, hosted by Canadian TV personality Jessi Cruickshank, showed the girl following up by asking Trudeau whether he painted both his hands and nose brown. “Yeah and it was the wrong thing to do,” the prime minister responded.

“And I had a good conversation with my kids around taking responsibility for my mistakes and making sure that we’re always sticking up for each other and not teasing each other and being respectful towards each other.

“And I’m sorry that I hurt you as well. I’m sorry that I hurt kids who … face teasing and discrimination because of the color of their skin. That’s just not right in this country or anywhere around the world. We all have to work together to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

  • I’m not black but by no mean care about the color of skin. I am old, like back in the times signs stating “no blacks allowed”. Never understood why. My parents did not care about color and so I did not care. I grew up in a mixed neighborhood so you had friends of every group.
    The reason I say this is painting a face black was not uncommon. I’ve done it. My black friends never said it was insulting. It was not meant as an insult.
    This occurred many years ago. Does a young guy that grew into a respected citizen need to worry about college days. If so, well let’s just say we have all done something we are not proud of.

  • Linda says:

    I had no idea that such young innocent children watched the news to keep up with current events. The work of grownups, so leave the children alone.

  • PT says:

    Using children to try to dig yourself out of the mess you are in is really, really pathetic.
    Good luck Canada.

  • CF