Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not wear a costume for a trick-or-treat photo op this Halloween in a major change for a man who has often relished dressing up in the past.
Trudeau will “be trick or treating with the kids, but not going to Rideau Hall or doing a photo op,” a spokesperson told the Canadian Press.
Trudeau’s office did not provide a reason for the decision.
The choice comes on the heels of an election campaign during which Trudeau admitted to wearing blackface or brownface on multiple occasions in the past.
The controversy erupted after Time magazine published a photo showing Trudeau in an Aladdin costume with skin-darkening makeup on his face. The photo was taken at an end-of-year costume party in 2001 at West Point Grey Academy, where Trudeau was a teacher at the time.
“I shouldn’t have done that,” Trudeau told reporters on Sept. 18, shortly after the photo surfaced. “I should have known better but I didn’t and I’m really sorry.”
He issued the apology aboard his campaign plane.
“The fact of the matter is that I’ve always … been more enthusiastic about costumes than is somehow — is sometimes appropriate,” he said.
Two more incidents of Trudeau in blackface came to light after his apology. One involved a photo of Trudeau at a high school talent show. Another was a video of Trudeau shot in the 1990s.
Trudeau has not specified exactly how many times he has worn skin-darkening makeup.
In addition to the blackface scandal, Trudeau faced strong criticism for his family’s elaborate attire during a trip to India in 2018. Those criticisms resurfaced during this year’s election campaign after the blackface scandal emerged.
Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, have dressed up in recent years to go trick-or-treating with their three young children, Xavier, Ella Grace and Hadrien.
He’s dressed up as Han Solo, Clark Kent, Sherlock Holmes and the pilot from The Little Prince in the past.
Trudeau’s Liberal Party was elected to a minority government on Oct. 21.
—With files from The Canadian Press