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Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte’s Green Party candidate says he’s worn blackface

"I wore a costume, imitating Mr. T, that perpetuates racist attitudes," Marty Lancaster, the Green Party's candidate for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, wrote on Facebook.
"I wore a costume, imitating Mr. T, that perpetuates racist attitudes," Marty Lancaster, the Green Party's candidate for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, wrote on Facebook. Supplied/Green Party of Canada

The Green Party’s candidate for the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte riding confirmed in a phone call Tuesday that he’s worn blackface.

“I wore a costume, imitating Mr. T, that perpetuates racist attitudes,” Marty Lancaster, the Green Party’s candidate for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, wrote on Facebook on Monday.

“It was not worn with malicious intent, but it does demonstrate my past misunderstanding of how hurtful blackface and similar costumes are.”

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Video shows Trudeau in blackface in 3rd instance of racist makeup

On Facebook, Lancaster said it’s a mistake he “deeply regret[s]” and that he’s “furious” with himself “for being so irresponsible and ignorant.”

“I now know better,” the Green Party candidate continued on Facebook.

“I will continue to educate myself and work for opportunities to rebuild the trust of my community, my family and especially the community of persons of colour whom I have hurt.”

Marty Lancaster’s full statement on Facebook.
Marty Lancaster’s full statement on Facebook. Screenshot/Facebook/Green Party Marty

READ MORE: Blackface has a long history in Canada — here’s a look

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Lancaster confirmed in a phone call with Global News that he wore the costume 10 years ago for a Halloween contest.

The candidate’s Facebook post comes about two weeks after it came to light that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wore racist makeup on three separate occasions.

“I felt after Trudeau’s incident, and listening to all the important comments made by others who showed how they could have been hurt, I felt the need to also make my statement,” Lancaster told Global News.

“I am taking concrete steps to talk to people, to increase my understanding, increase my awareness and my empathy.”

READ MORE: May ‘deeply shocked’ by Trudeau’s wearing of racist makeup in past photos, video

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has also said one of her party candidates running in Newfoundland and Labrador admitted to her that he wore blackface decades ago for a comedy skit.

When the news about Trudeau broke, May said she was “deeply shocked” and felt “physically ill” when she looked at the photo of the Liberal leader wearing brownface.

The Green Party’s press secretary, Rosie Emery, didn’t respond to request for comment in time for publication.

WATCH: Green candidate once wore blackface on comedy show

Green candidate once wore blackface on comedy show
Green candidate once wore blackface on comedy show

— With files from Maryam Shah

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