Justin Trudeau is good at the internet. This week, the Canadian prime minister sought to appease his virtual fans with a departure from the political realm. More specifically, Trudeau hugged a unicorn puppet named Gary, and consequently joined Gary's Hug Club.
The CBC Kids segment during which this happens may have been designed for kids, but it's people on social media who seem to be paying the most attention to it. Trudeau is known for trying to interact with his constituents, and perhaps he considers Gary the unicorn as one of them. In any case, Gary asks Trudeau if he'd like to join his hug club, and Trudeau enthusiastically accepts this invitation.
"What you have to do, you have to give me a hug that I've never had before," Gary explains in the video.
"Oh boy," Trudeau replies. "I'm going to do what I want to do when I meet people, [which] is give them the biggest, squeeziest hug that I can. I think that's what you're going to get as a prime minister's hug."
Trudeau makes good on this promise, and during the hug, Gary concludes that "this is the best prime minister hug I've ever had!" He decides shortly afterward that he is "never going to wash my sweater again," leading internet commenters and journalists alike to concede that they wouldn't, either, had they been in Gary's position.
The reception of this video has been relatively mixed. While some social media users praised the video for being adorable and fulfilling internet fantasies, the video itself — which appears on the CBC Kids YouTube channel — has more dislikes than likes. On Twitter, meanwhile, conservative critics of the prime minister accused him of using this moment to distract from important issues facing Canada and the world.
Whatever people made of Trudeau hugging a unicorn, however, it is undeniable that some of the most basic things that he does routinely capture the internet's attention. His interactions with other foreign leaders have routinely shot to internet virality — whether it's a handshake with President Trump, a stroll in the park with French President Emmanuel Macron, or hugging former President Barack Obama after a cozy dinner. He also wore NATO socks that went viral, and photos of a young Trudeau led to widespread excitement. The phrase "Justin Trudeau hugged a unicorn" may sound utterly strange to some, but it did happen — just another day in the life of the Canadian prime minister.