'I am Justin Trudeau', jokes Sir Lenny Henry


Lenny Henry

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Getty Images

Sir Lenny Henry has been having a laugh at the expense of the Canadian prime minister by telling an audience: “I am Justin Trudeau.”

Mr Trudeau apologised this week after Time magazine published an old photo of him in blackface.

Sir Lenny was speaking at a Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge focusing on how to improve diversity in the TV business.

He discussed “what now needs to be done” in the industry.

The actor has previously campaigned for lawmakers to guarantee true representation for minorities in UK film and television.

Blackface, which was more prevalent in the past, particularly in the entertainment industry, involves white people painting their faces darker – and is widely condemned as a racist caricature.

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GLOBE AND MAIL, GLOBAL NEWS, TIME MAGAZINE

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Three damaging images of Justin Trudeau emerged this week

Time magazine published the first of three damaging photos of Mr Trudeau on Wednesday, saying it was taken from the yearbook of West Point Grey Academy – a private school in British Columbia, where he worked as a teacher before entering politics.

It showed the then 29-year-old Mr Trudeau in a turban and robe with dark make-up on his face, neck and hands.

On Thursday, he admitted he cannot say exactly how often he wore blackface. The revelations have rattled his campaign in a tight election race, with Canadians going to the polls on 21 October.

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Heyday Television/Carlos Rodriguez

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Sir Lenny starred in 2018 BBC drama The Long Song

Earlier this year Sir Lenny spoke of the racial abuse his mother faced when she first arrived in the UK.

“People followed her down the street and asked her where her tail was,” the actor revealed at a screening of the BBC’s Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle.

“This is the stuff our grandparents and parents experienced.”

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