Trudeau changes profile image to photo of him with black person in wake of ‘blackface’ scandal

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has been criticised for changing his Twitter profile picture to a photo showing him sitting beside a black person.

The political leader’s re-election campaign has been rocked by the publication of old photos showing Mr Trudeau wearing blackface.

After apologising, Mr Trudeau was forced to admit he was unsure how many times he had darkened his face – and did not know if more photos might come to light.

Commenting on his new profile pic – which shows him smiling at a black man at a restaurant counter – many on Twitter accused him of trying to smooth over charges of racism.

One said: “It’s a bad social media version of the “I’m not racist, look at my black friend!” Another added: “Come on man, do you think we forgot what happened like three days ago???”

Day out
Image copyright: AP

Mr Trudeau attempted to forge ahead with his re-election campaign on Monday after polls showed a shift in voter support towards his Conservative rivals.

After several days of apologies, Mr Trudeau has resumed making campaign announcements, and is set to talk about health care in the Ontario city of Hamilton on Monday.

His Liberal Party of Canada campaign was completely knocked off course last week when Time magazine published a picture of him in brown makeup at a 2001 “Arabian Nights” party when he was a 29-year-old teacher. Two other images and a video of him in blackface later surfaced.

Justin Trudeau’s new Twitter profile photo (@JustinTrudeau / Twitter)

The images prompted international ridicule and were at odds with his claims he wants to improve the lives of minorities in Canada.

“It’s a body blow,” pollster Frank Graves of EKOS Research said of the blackface images. “Will the Liberals be able to recover? Who knows? There’s no way of putting lipstick on a pig and making this go away.”

Mr Graves said his polling, which he has yet to publish in detail, shows a shift toward Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer and away from Trudeau nationally.

Conservatives would win 35.5 per cent of the national vote and the Liberals 32.9 per cent, a Nanos Research poll released on Sunday said.

Trudeau, who launched his re-election campaign just over a week ago, said of the blackface incidents: ”I deeply regret that I did that. I should have known better but I didn’t.”

Main image copyright: Twitter

Written by: Adam Forrest

First published 23.09.19:

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