Russell Peters hosts the Juno awards show, Sunday April 2, 2017 in Ottawa. The head of the Juno Awards is apologizing for comments that co-host Peters made during Sunday’s telecast. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Junos apologize for Russell Peters’s ‘off-script’ jokes

TORONTO — The head of the Juno Awards is apologizing for comments that co-host Russell Peters made during Sunday’s telecast.

In a statement, Allan Reid distanced himself and the show’s organizers from jokes that have been criticized for sexualizing women.

The comedian opened the show with a monologue that referenced young girls in the audience as a “felony waiting to happen.”

Peters also jokingly questioned why Heritage Minister Melanie Joly was handing out an award, but added that it didn’t matter because “she’s hot, so who cares?”

Reid, who is also president of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said the Junos do not “in any way support, nor did we sanction, the off-script remarks.”

On Monday, Joly called the jokes inappropriate, while Peters did not respond to requests for comment.

“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 said in his statement.

“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.”

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