Hey, Russell Peters, Your Junos Jokes Were the Actual Worst

No one’s laughing, least of all Junos head Allan Reid who just apologized for Peters’ hideous sexist remarks

The president of the Juno Awards just apologized for Russell Peters Junos jokes
(Photo: Getty Images)

ICYMI, Canada’s most overrated stand-up comedian shoved his square-toe dress shoe in his mouth at the Juno Awards on April 2 and we are so not here for it. And neither is Allan Reid, the Junos president who just apologized for co-host Russell Peters’ “off-script” remarks saying, “This incident is not reflective of any views held in our organization.”

“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,” Reid continued. Peters’ jokes came after the Junos were criticized for being too male-dominated. Hey, Peters, you’re not helping!

The remarks in question include a rape joke during the show’s introduction wherein he scanned the room, commented on how many young women were in the crowd and called it a “felony waiting to happen.” Hahahaha… wait, you mean like because these young women are probably under the legal age of consent and therefore it would be a crime to have sex with them? This just in: THAT. IS. NOT. A. FUNNY. JOKE. RAPE JOKES ARE LITERALLY NEVER EVEN A LITTLE BIT FUNNY. (And no, I will not stop type-yelling at you.) Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy agrees:

He followed that creepy, offensive and one hundred percent not funny remark with this utterly tasteless comment when co-host Bryan Adams’ was introducing Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly: “I don’t know why, but she’s hot, so who cares?”

Excuse me, who cares? Did you just reduce all of Joly’s accomplishments to her looks? Joly brushed the sexist comment off in the moment because LIVE TV but she later called his shitty joke “clearly inappropriate,” telling the Canadian Press “we need to make sure that all our role models are supporting the importance of gender parity. I really hope that he takes that into consideration and understands the importance of what he said.”

Peters’ jokes serve as a stark and embarrassing reminder that Canada is def not immune to the wave of misogyny sweeping through the U.S.. Sure, Peters is a comedian and yes, he’s made quite a living telling off-colour jokes—mostly low-key racist ones wherein he makes fun of his own ethnic group—but part of being a successful comic is reading the room and understanding the tone of the times. I literally can’t think of a more inappropriate venue for rape jokes than Canada’s most wholesome night in music and a worse time for them than right effing now. Peters used to be someone that Canada was pretty proud to lay claim to (he even has a marquee CTV mini-series entitled The Indian Detective coming up), but I hope it’ll be “Russell who?” from here on out—whether you find him funny or nah (we’ve always firmly been in the latter camp), rape is never a laughing matter.

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