Politics

No Halloween costume for Trudeau this year following blackface controversy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not wear a costume when he takes part in Halloween festivities tonight, despite doing so in previous years, his office confirms.

PM faced controversy during election campaign over revelations he wore costumes with blackface and brownface

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks with his son Hadrien as they go trick or treating at Rideau Hall on Halloween in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not wear a costume when he takes part in Halloween festivities tonight, despite doing so in previous years, his office confirms.

The Prime Minister's Office told CBC News that Trudeau will go trick-or-treating with his children, who will dress up for the occasion.

Trudeau was mired in controversy during the election campaign following reports that he had worn costumes that included brownface and blackface makeup on multiple occasions before becoming prime minister.

On Sept. 18 — one week into the campaign — Time Magazine published photos showing a 29-year-old Trudeau wearing an Aladdin costume that included brownface makeup to a party at the Vancouver private school where he was a teacher.

Further revelations showed that Trudeau had worn costumes with blackface on at least two other occasions — once at a party for white water rafting guides in Quebec and another time while performing as a teenager at a high school talent show.

Speaking to reporters on his campaign plane following the Time Magazine report, Trudeau admitted he had a propensity to overdo it when it comes to dressing up.

"The fact of the matter is that I've always — and you will know this — been more enthusiastic about costumes than is sometimes appropriate," he said. "These are the situations that I regret deeply." 

A report from McGill University showed that online discussion of the blackface scandal exploded in the days in the days following the reports, but then dropped off dramatically and all but disappeared within a week. 

Despite the controversy, Trudeau's Liberal Party was re-elected with a minority government on Oct. 21.

Here's a look at Trudeau's past Halloween costumes during his time as prime minister:

Trudeau carries his son Hadrien while participating in Halloween festivities at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Oct. 31, 2017. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Justin Trudeau, dressed as the Pilot from The Little Prince, and his son Hadrien, dressed as the Little Prince, arrive at Rideau Hall to go trick-or-treating, on Halloween in 2016. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau, dressed as Han Solo of The Empire Strikes Back, and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, dressed as Princess Leia, walk with their son Hadrien while trick-or-treating on Halloween in Ottawa on Oct. 31, 2015. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

With files from Rosemary Barton

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