The picture, found in West Point Grey Academy’s yearbook, shows Trudeau with his face, neck and hands darkened—along with him wearing a turban and robes. While he was not the only one pictured in costume at the gala, he appeared to be the only one pictured in brownface.
The photo, which surfaced as Trudeau is ramping up his re-election campaign, sparked an outpouring of criticism on Twitter, where many accused the Canadian prime minister of racism.
Media relations lead of the Liberal Party of Canada, Zita Astravas, confirmed to TIME that it was Trudeau in the photo. “It was a photo taken while he was teaching in Vancouver, at the school’s annual dinner which had a costume theme of ‘Arabian Nights.’ He attended with friends and colleagues dressed as a character from Aladdin,” Astravas said.