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Junos head apologizes for 'off-script remarks' about women by Russell Peters

The president of the Junos is apologizing for "off-script remarks" Russell Peters made about young women in the crowd and Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly while hosting the awards show on Sunday.

Awards co-host called heritage minister 'hot', made comments about young women in crowd

Russell Peters co-hosted the Junos awards show on Sunday with Bryan Adams. The head of the Juno Awards has apologized for comments Peters made about young women in the crowd and Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly during the telecast. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The president of the Junos is apologizing for "off-script remarks" Russell Peters made about young women in the crowd and Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly while hosting the awards show.

Allan Reid, who heads up the Juno Awards, CARAS and MusiCounts, released a statement Tuesday saying his organizations did not support Peters' comments he made while hosting Sunday's show with Bryan Adams. According to Reid, the lines weren't in the script, but were ad-libbed by Peters.

"This incident is not reflective of any views held in our organization," Reid said.

"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."

Peters' remark about Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly (right) were made just before she and singer Coleman Hell (centre) presented Breakthrough Artist of the Year to Ruth B. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Peters opened the show by pointing out the number of young women in the crowd and called it a "felony waiting to happen." Later, while Adams was introducing Joly as a presenter, Peters chimed in: "I don't know why, but she's hot, so who cares?"

Shortly after that, Joly was asked about Peters' remark in the press room but brushed it off. On Monday, she called it inappropriate while speaking outside the House of Commons.

"We need to make sure that all our role models are supporting the importance of gender parity," Joly said. "I really hope that he takes that into consideration and understands ... the importance of what he said."

Peters has yet to publicly address the criticism — though he has "liked" a handful of tweets that defended his words.

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