Ontario premier Doug Ford has broken his silence about the bombshell photos of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wearing brownface and blackface.

In an exclusive interview with CTV News Toronto, Ford said the situation will ultimately be "up to the people to decide."

"It was unacceptable back in 2001, it's unacceptable now," Ford said.

"The people are going to decide. They're going to have the opportunity to decide if they want the prime minister to continue being prime minister or they want a change."

Ford said he believes there’s a "double standard right across the board" in how the photographs and video of Trudeau are being received, suggesting his personal politics play a role. 

"If it was a conservative, I think it would have been a different story."

Trudeau apologized Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup at a party in 2001, after TIME Magazine published a photo from the event.

Trudeau brownface

“I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better but I didn’t and I’m really sorry,” Trudeau told reporters on the plane after a day of campaigning in Atlantic Canada.

TIME reported Wednesday that the photo appeared in the 2000-2001 yearbook of West Point Grey Academy, a private day school in Vancouver where Trudeau was a teacher at the time.

The photo was taken at the school’s annual dinner, which had an “Arabian Nights” theme, a Liberal Party spokesperson said.

Trudeau acknowledged that he was dressed as Aladdin.

"It was a dumb thing to do. I’m disappointed in myself. I’m pissed off at myself for having done it. I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did it and I apologize for it,” he said.

“I have worked all my life to try and create opportunities for people, to fight against racism and intolerance, and I can just stand here and say that I made a mistake when I was younger and I wish I hadn’t.”

Trudeau was nearly 30 years old when the photo was taken.