Older Britons more likely than not to say blackface is acceptable

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
September 20, 2019, 3:17 PM GMT+0

Men are also more likely than women to say they’re ok with the practice

With a general election in full swing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong kind of headlines when a photograph of him wearing blackface makeup publicly leaked. It soon emerged that he had done so on at least three occasions.

Following the revelations, new YouGov data reveals that one in three Britons (32%) think that it’s acceptable for a white person to wear blackface makeup. A higher figure of 42% find it unacceptable, while the remaining 26% don’t know what their stance is.

Age seems to be a key factor, with older Britons progressively more likely to find the practice acceptable. While 18% of 18-24 year olds say blackface is acceptable, this figure rises to 27% of 25-49 year olds, 37% of 50-65 year olds and 43% of those aged 65 and older. Among this last group, acceptance of blackface is actually the dominant view, with only 29% finding it unacceptable.

Men are also noticeably more likely than women to say they believe blackface makeup is ok. While women find the practice unacceptable by 26% to 43%, men are split with 39% finding it acceptable and 40% unacceptable.

Given that age is such a dominant factor in how Britons vote now, it is not surprising that those voting groups most populated by older people are more likely to say the practice is acceptable than those that tend to be younger. For example, while 45% of Conservative voters are fine with blackface, this figure is 24% among Labour voters and 21% among Lib Dems. Likewise, 42% of Leave voters find blackface acceptable compared to 23% of Remain voters.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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