Over the past few years, a number of prominent figures have faced harsh consequences after photos resurfaced showing them in blackface.
Most recently, Canadian voters were reminded of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s questionable behavior when a never-before-seen photo was leaked that showed him clad in Arabic garb and a darkened face.
The controversy is the latest chapter in a saga dating back to seemingly racist pictures that first came to light in 2019.
As for the latest image, which was shared publicly by a right-leaning advocacy group, appears to have been taken at the same 2001 Arabian Nights-themed gala event in which he was captured in a white turban and flowing robes as revealed in a photo leaked just ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections.
Canada Proud, the group behind the recent photo leak, used the opportunity to criticize Trudeau as an “international embarrassment” while urging Canadians to support Conservative challenger Erin O’Toole.
A new photo of Trudeau in blackface has leaked.
It’s time to end the international embarrassment. Only Erin O’Toole can stop Justin Trudeau. pic.twitter.com/FcghmzKNEf
— Canada Proud (@WeAreCanProud) September 20, 2021
As the Washington Examiner noted, Trudeau has apologized extensively in recent years for having worn blackface, even acknowledging that there could be other images that might pop up.
Trudeau gambit backfires
Although the prime minister managed to eke out a victory in the recent election, it is unclear whether the leaked image played in role in shaping voter sentiment.
Notably, the election was not expected for another two years but Trudeau announced a shortened cycle about two months ago.
Reports indicate he hoped to capitalize on his relatively high approval rating and expand his party’s control of Parliament in the process.
While he held a seven-point lead in the polls when the elections were first announced, that advantage had diminished to less than a quarter of a percent by the time Election Day rolled around.
According to USA Today, Trudeau’s decision to call for early elections appears to have backfired as his party managed to hold only to the narrowest of victories and the partisan makeup of the House of Commons remained largely unchanged. It remains to be seen whether his ability to lead the country will be further hampered by the latest blackface scandal.