JUNO Awards President apologizes for ‘off-script, inappropriate’ Russell Peters comments

The President and CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the JUNO Awards has issued a statement apologizing for "the upset" caused by comments made by Awards co-host Russell Peters last Sunday in Ottawa.

“We do not, in any way support, nor did we sanction, the off-script remarks Mr. Peters made in regards to the girls and women in attendance at the Awards, along with his inappropriate reference to the Honourable Minister Mélanie Joly,” the statement from Allan Reid says.

Peters called Joly “hot” before introducing her on stage Sunday night at the Canadian Tire Centre. He also commented on a group of young women and girls in the audience, saying it was a “felony waiting to happen.”

“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,” Reid’s statement says. “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.”

“CARAS, The JUNO Awards, and myself, deeply apologize for the upset this has caused. This incident is not reflective of any views held in our organization,” says Reid.

Joly has previously called Peters’ comments “inappropriate” and said they have no place at the Junos.

With files from the Canadian Press