Justin Trudeau and other celebs who got backlash for blackface/brownface

"I should have known better," says the Canadian prime minister

Stars Insider

09/19/19 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Racism

A photo published in Time magazine has rocked Justin Trudeau and his re-election campaign. Taken in 2001, when he was 29 and a teacher attending a private high school party, the photo shows Canada's prime minister in a turban and brownface makeup. He has since apologized, saying, "It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time but now I recognize it was something racist to do, and I am deeply sorry.”

What's more, Trudeau also admitted to blackface: “When I was in high school I dressed up at a talent show and sang ‘Day-O,’” he said, adding, “and put makeup on.” Media outlets have since confirmed that these images also exist.

And now, incredibly, a video of a third such incident has popped up, filmed in the early '90s.

For context, historically it was commonplace for white actors especially to darken their skin, and impersonate other races, mainly black and brown people. This history dates back to the mid-19th century in North America, but can be traced as far back as the 17th century in Europe. But although more commonly associated with actors, more and more it's come to include musical artists, politicians, reality TV stars, and even famous YouTubers.

Writes CNN journalist Kendall Trammell: "Portraying yourself as someone of a different race is not just a representation of a person but rather using someone's skin tone as a costume."

And who are the big names that took part in this degrading practice? Click on to find out.

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