In a statement today (via Deadline), Peck confirmed that he will depart the series following the upcoming thirteenth season, which premieres on the network tonight:
“After filming 13 great seasons of Ink Master, the producers and I have decided it’s best to part ways … The offensive photos of me which recently surfaced from many years ago can only be a distraction to the amazing show I have loved being a part of and its many talented artists. I want to thank the show’s cast, crew, contestants and awesome fans. It’s been a blast and an honor and I wish my friends and colleagues the very best in whatever the future holds.”
Because Peck filmed season 13 prior to the offensive images surfacing, he will be a part of the upcoming season. His status for the upcoming finale remains to be seen, but it’s hard to imagine him having a role in any live event.
The Paramount Network also issued the following statement on the controversy:
“We, like many others, were appalled when we saw the photos of Oliver. We were glad to see his apology and accept that he is taking full responsibility for the damaging impact of his actions.”
This decision marks a quick stand by Paramount Network, who is standing against hateful actions, no matter when they took place or whatever the intent may have been. They also want to continue to keep Ink Master focused on what matters most — the talent and artistry of the contestants, who are taking time out of their lives and away from their families to compete. Offensive photos of a paid on-air personality should not be the defining characteristic of their season and these artists still deserve support.
Ink Master will continue to air new episodes over the course of the coming months. The first season without Oliver could air as early as late summer/early fall. It remains to be seen who could serve as his replacement, but if we had to throw a guess into the air of who they might be wanting to court for the seat, we are thinking they might want to lean towards Ryan Ashley or Cleen Rock One since both are favorites of the show. (Photo: Paramount Network.)
This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.