The president of the Junos has apologized for the “off-script remarks" Russell Peters made about women and Minister Mélanie Joly during Sunday night’s awards show in Ottawa. The comedian has since received backlash for the comments, which he made during his hosting duties at the event.
Allan Reid, the President and CEO of the JUNO Awards and MusiCounts, released a statement on Tuesday explaining that the “incident is not reflective of any views held in our organization.” He also reiterated that the organization is meant to support and bring women together, not tear them down.
"CARAS and our charitable arm MusiCounts conduct significant efforts to engage and support women, particularly funding initiatives for girls in school and community music programs. While we understand that there is still a lot of work to be done in these areas, we firmly believe the first step is empowering females,” reads the statement.
During the opening monologue of the show, co-host Russell addressed the young women in the crowd as “a felony waiting to happen.” He later introduced the government’s Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly by commenting, “I don’t know why, but she’s hot so who cares?”
Mélanie addressed the comic’s remarks during a question period outside the House of Commons on Monday (Apr. 3). "We need to make sure that all our role models are supporting the importance of gender parity.” The political figure explained that she hopes Russell realizes his words have an affect on other people. "I really hope that he takes that into consideration and understands the importance of what he said."
The comedian has yet to respond or apologize for the incident, although he has ‘ liked’ tweets by fans who have defended him.