According to a report by TRTWorld, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologised on Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup to a party at a school where he taught 18 years ago.

Time magazine posted the photo, which it says was published in the yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in British Columbia where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics. It depicts Trudeau wearing a turban and robe, with dark makeup on his hands, face, and neck.

Trudeau, who launched his reelection campaign exactly one week ago, said he should have known better.

"I'm pissed off at myself, I'm disappointed in myself," Trudeau told reporters travelling with him on his campaign plane.

"Now I recognise it was something racist to do," he said. "It was a dumb thing to do. I'm disappointed in myself."

In Canadian politics, such actions are seen as unacceptable betrayals of what Canada's multicultural identity has come to be. This is also because Canadian politics has a healthy representation of immigrant communities: the National Democratic Party, for instance, is led by Jagmeet Singh, whose parents were immigrants from Indian Punjab.  

Earlier this year, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam faced intense pressure to resign after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page. He denied being in the picture but admitted to wearing "blackface" as a young man while portraying Michael Jackson at a dance party in the 1980s.

Trudeau said the photo of him was taken at the school's annual dinner which had an "Arabian Nights" theme that year. Trudeau was dressed as a character from Aladdin.

The prime minister said it was not the first time he has worn makeup before, saying he wore makeup while performing a version of the Harry Belafonte song, "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" during a talent show.

"I should have known better then but I didn't, and I am deeply sorry for it," Trudeau said. "I'm going to ask Canadians to forgive me what I did. I shouldn't have done that. I take responsibility for it.  It was a dumb thing to do."

Trudeau said he's always been more enthusiastic about costumes than is "sometimes appropriate."

"These are the situations I regret deeply," he added.

In an era marked by the rise of populist leaders across the globe, Trudeau has represented a beacon of hope. A champion of progressive politics in his country, and the first Prime Minister to have partaken in LGBTQ-pride parades, Trudeau's Canada has also taken the most refugees out of the nations of North America. 

But the 47-year-old son of late prime minister Pierre Trudeau was already vulnerable following one of the biggest scandals in Canadian political history, which arose when Trudeau's former attorney general said he improperly pressured her to halt the criminal prosecution of a company in Quebec. Trudeau has said he was standing up for jobs. In global politics, Trudeau's progressive image has contradicted the military arms Canada has sold to Saudi Arabia, a country currently at war with Yemen. Leftist politicians in Canada attacked Trudeau for putting the lives of Yemeni civilians at stake, especially when Saudi airstrikes were found to have targeted a schoolbus carrying children and schoolteachers.