Justin Trudeau admits brownface photo was racist

"I should have known better, but I didn't," the Canadian prime minister told reporters about the 2001 incident.
2:32 | 09/19/19

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Transcript for Justin Trudeau admits brownface photo was racist
Now to that new trouble for Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. A picture of him wearing dark makeup dressed as aladdin at a party in 2001 and Trudeau himself calling it racist and apologizing. Terry Moran has more on all this. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. Justin Trudeau is a proud Progressive. He's emphasized inclusiveness and tolerance but now he's the latest politician caught up in an episode from years ago where he darkened his skin for fun. Blackface. And he's in a tight election. The controversy erupted overnight forcing Justin Trudeau to Sak out and try to explain taking questions on board his campaign plane. In 2001 when I was a teacher I was in Vancouver. I attended an end of the year gala where the theme was Arabian nights and I dressed up in aladdin costume and put makeup on. I shouldn't have done that. I should have known better but I didn't and I'm really sorry. Reporter: It was "Time" magazine that uncovered the 18-year-old photo from a yearbook at west point gray academy where he was teaching when he was 29 years old. I take responsibility for my decision to do that. I shouldn't have done it. I should have known better. It was something that I didn't think was racist at the time but now I recognize it was something racist to do. Reporter: Conservative party leader Andrew shear, Trudeau's political opponent in next month's election pounced saying it shows a complete lack of judgment and integrity in someone not fit to govern. It Goss worse answering a question last night Trudeau admitted to wearing blackface while in high school while performing "Day-o," a Jamaican folk song but said he has fought Jensen intolerance all his life. I have worked all my life to create opportunities for people, to fight against racism and intolerance and I can just stand here and say that I made a mistake when I was younger and I wish I hadn't. It's hard to say how all this will impact next month's election but Trudeau is already struggling in the polls and battling scandal on another front and now this, robin. All right. Thanks so much, Terry.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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