I CANNOT claim to follow Canadian affairs with any degree of close attention, but I gather that Justin Trudeau’s record in office has been fairly creditable: certainly much better than those of some other contemporary heads of government. Yet I read today that he has felt himself obliged to make a grovelling, self-flagellating apology, and submit to being described – insolently, by any standards – as “someone with a complete lack of judgement and integrity … who is not fit to govern this country” ("PM reeling over brownface photo", The Herald, September 20). And why? Because 18years ago he took part in a fancy-dress event with his face painted brown.

I have never seen it reported that Mr Trudeau, in either his political career or his private life, has given grounds for belief that he is actually racist in his attitudes or his conduct. Yet one unimportant episode dating from before his political career had even begun is apparently held to outweigh everything positive that he has done or achieved in his life. Has all sense of proportion been lost?

Derrick McClure, Aberdeen AB24.

I CANNOT for the life of me understand why there is so much fuss over Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blackening his face to play Aladdin 20 years ago. Why should this be identified as racist? There is no shame in having darker skin than your fellow man nor is there any superiority in having paler skin.

One of my beloved daughters-in-law is a French-speaking Cameroonian and she and her son are very dear to me and my wife.

When Orson Welles (1955) and later Laurence Olivier (1965) darkened their skin to play Othello was there any outrage at this? There were excellent and very handsome Afro American actors such as Sidney Poitier at the time, was there any uproar that the role did not go to him?

In the recent BBC production The Hollow Crown the Duke of York was played by a man of African heritage which I found to be a bit daft but not insulting or offensive.

I think we ought to lighten up a bit in this respect and not see racism where none is intended.

Dr Jack Mulhearn, Glasgow G43.