Trudeau warned advisors of blackface photos after Virginia governor's own scandal

In February 2019, when a yearbook picture came out featuring Virginia Governor Ralph Northam that showed a man in blackface and a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe, 'Trudeau had confided to Butts and [Katie] Telford that he had also done blackface.'

Trudeau warned advisors of blackface photos after Virginia governor's own scandal
Remove Ads

An excerpt from Stephen Maher's book, "The Prince: The Turbulent Reign of Justin Trudeau" reveals what information the prime minister's top advisors were given prior to Trudeau's blackface photographs going national.

Gerald Butts, the longtime friend of Trudeau who left government amid the SNC-Lavalin scandal, returned to be a senior adviser for the 2019 campaign, as he had done for the successful 2015 campaign.

Upon returning, there were murmurs that the BC Liberals had heard a report that a Time reporter had tracked down a photo of Prime Minister Trudeau wearing blackface at an Arabian Nights party.

The book outlines how Trudeau wore a variety of embarrassing outfits, including "a kilt, a bowler in the style of Charlie Chaplin, and a tux, James Bond-style."

The only one that would capture the nation's attention, though, was the blackface photo.

The photo was embarrassing, but could perhaps be explained as a one-off and even be excused as a product of a different era. Plus, the make-up was blue. But in February 2019, when a yearbook picture came out featuring Virginia Governor Ralph Northam that showed a man in blackface and a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe, "Trudeau had confided to Butts and [Katie] Telford that he had also done blackface."

Butts even pushed for the campaign to release the photo themselves to get ahead of the photo: “Guys, we’ve got to get this up there or it’s going to come out. And people are like, ‘No, maybe it won’t come out.’ Like, no. It’s coming out.”

Eventually, Time called to tell the campaign that they had the photo. Once the Liberals were able to obtain the picture themselves, they rounded up their team and broke the news to them that their dear leader had worn blackface.

"The senior people were worried how the young multicultural staffers in the war room would react to the news. Before the story broke, cam­paign manager Jeremy Broadhurst gathered them together and broke the news, followed by Butts. Some of them cried; others took time off to think things through," Maher writes.

Trudeau's team would then have to prep him for the global media storm that was about to ensue. During one of the practice pressers, it was revealed that Trudeau wasn't sure how many times he had worn blackface. 

An excerpt from the book outlines other times Trudeau admitted to wearing the offensive makeup: "When Trudeau had been a student at Brébeuf, he had performed 'Banana Boat (Day-O),' the Harry Belafonte classic, on stage in black­face. I am told that he also wore blackface at McGill on Halloween in 1993, going out as Ted Danson, who had offended Americans that year by wearing minstrel-style makeup to a comedy roast (at the instigation of his then-girlfriend, Whoopi Goldberg, who is Black). Any one of the pictures could perhaps have been waved off, dealt with, or rationalized. To­gether, they posed a problem that could not be explained away."

Later in the book, Maher notes that Telford had casually mentioned to reporters while on the campaign trail that Trudeau enjoyed dressing up, "perhaps planting a seed so they would have some context in mind when the story came out — a sub­tle bit of spin, which works, like all good spin because it is true."

“He wanted to have the best costume at the Arabian Nights thing at West Point Grey, in India, at Halloween,” says one Liberal who has known Trudeau well for a long time. “He’s always got to have the best costume. Well, now he’s ruined that for himself.”

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads