A Toronto-area Liberal candidate is apologizing for suggesting people “in the black community” like Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau more because he dressed up in blackface.
Nearly two weeks ago, Judy Sgro, who is vying for re-election in the riding of Humber River-Black Creek, gave a one-on-one interview with a news organization called GBKM FM. During the interview, she was asked about Trudeau wearing blackface makeup.
“Those in the black community have told me how much more love they have for the prime minister, that he wanted to have a black face. That he took great pride in that, too,” Sgro said. “And that it’s the media that have blown this into something that it shouldn’t be and that they’re very supportive.”
Sgro said nearly everyone has made “poor choices” in the past.
A video clip from that interview resurfaced today and is being widely shared online.
Sgro acknowledged on her Facebook page today that those comments were insensitive.
“I should have known better, and I apologize. The history of blackface is deeply racist and it is nothing other than discriminatory,” she wrote.
“This issue has sparked an important conversation in our country and needs to be treated with great seriousness and sensitivity. I will continue to have these important conversations with my constituents.”
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called her comments “ludicrous.”
“It is embarrassing and shameful that she would suggest that people like Mr. Trudeau more because he did blackface,” he said during a media availability today.
“That shows a massive disconnect between the Liberal Party, and in fact Mr. Trudeau, and what real people are living and experiencing.”
The federal election campaign was upended last month when Time magazine reported that Trudeau dressed in blackface and a turban back in 2001 for a gala event at West Point Grey Academy, the B.C. private school Trudeau taught at 18 years ago.
Trudeau subsequently admitted to wearing blackface at a high school talent show. Global News has reported a third instance of Trudeau wearing blackface in the 1990s.