Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday wouldn’t say how many times he’s worn blackface. “I am wary of being definitive about this because the recent pictures that came out, I had not remembered,” he said, referring to the three images of him in dark makeup that have surfaced in the media. “Frankly, I didn’t understand how hurtful this was to people who live with discrimination everyday.” The prime minister also said he didn’t speak out about the photographs earlier because he “was embarrassed.” “I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone because I’m not that person anymore,” he said. “When we found out that TIME was looking for the photo, I told my staff... but the buck stops with me and I take responsibility.”
When asked when he realized wearing blackface was racist, he dodged the question and underscored his own awareness of his privilege. Trudeau also did not indicate that he would be resigning as the Liberal Party’s leader. “I will continue to do the work that is necessary to keep us moving forward,” he said.