Even though ultra-leftist Canadian Prime Minister was outed for having worn brownface on three occasions, CNN anchor Don Lemon praised him for apologizing while using the moment to bash President Trump.
“Wow, a leader apologizing. It seems odd, doesn’t it? Because we have one who doesn’t,” Lemon said on his program, as reported by Fox News.
“I do have to say this before we go: think about it however you want to think about it. When someone apologizes- wow!” Lemon later said. “We don’t often see that here, especially in a world leader who is saying ‘I should’ve known better and I’m sorry.’ You can feel about it however you want, but that, to me, that does mean a lot.”
“What is happening in America today? We are at an inflection point in the history of our nation. Listen up, Mr. President. Tick-tock, tick-tock.”
The CNN panel also ran cover for Trudeau by claiming that context matters in his situation. Take a look:
Trudeau’s situation, which echoed that of Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s incident, became a media sensation on Wednesday when photos surfaced of the prime minister wearing brownface at an Arabian Nights gala in 2001. The photo occurred at West Point Grey Academy’s “Arabian Nights”-themed gala and featured the young Trudeau wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck, and hands darkened to look Middle-Eastern – the kind of antics Hollywood pulled back in the “Lawrence of Arabia” days with actor Alec Guinness.
Zita Astravas, the media relations lead of the Liberal Party of Canada, told TIME that the photo took place at an annual dinner and Trudeau intended to dress as a character from Aladdin.
“It was a photo taken while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of ‘Arabian Nights.’ [Trudeau] attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin,” said Astravas.
Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May denounced the photo as racist and called upon Justin Trudeau to apologize. “I am deeply shocked by the racism shown in the photograph of Justin Trudeau,” she tweeted. “He must apologize for the harm done and commit to learning and appreciating the requirement to model social justice leadership at all levels of government. In this matter he has failed.”
After some hours had passed, Trudeau addressed the controversial photo to reporters on an airplane, during which he apologized and admitted the photo was racist, though he claimed to have not believed it was racist at the time.
“I shouldn’t have done it. I should have known better, but I didn’t,” said. “And I’m really sorry.”
The photo could not come at a worse moment for Truduea, who is now in a virtual tie for reelection against conservative Andrew Scheer. Knowing this could seriously cost him, Trudeau pledged to continue fighting against intolerance despite his past behavior.
“I stand here before Canadians as I will throughout this campaign and talk about the work we have to do to make a better country together,” he said. “And I am going to continue to stay focused on that and continue to work to fight intolerance and discrimination, even though obviously I made a mistake in the past.”