“Ink Master” judge Oliver Peck has been embroiled in controversy since old photos of him wearing blackface emerged online last week. Now, the tattoo artist has announced via a statement that he is leaving the reality TV show.
“After filming 13 great seasons of Ink Master, the producers and I have decided it’s best to part ways,” Peck’s statement reads. “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.”
PopCulture.com has more specifics on what led to this point:
The photos showed Peck donning blackface over a number of years in what appeared to be an assortment of Halloween costumes, including basketball player, Playboy bunny and a superhero in an afro wig with the letter “N” on his chest. Peck had previously shared the images to his MySpace account, where they eventually made their way to more active parts of the internet.
Peck was also slated to MC an after-party hosted by Tattooed Gloves, which is held after the annual Austin Tattoo Convention in the Texas capital. Tattooed Gloves has since announced another MC will take over the event, though it has not publicly commented on Peck’s actions.
Ladies and gentlethems, we got ‘em. Fuck Oliver Peck. pic.twitter.com/DrQSAU1ebi
— haunted gameboy sp (@sevtinywizard) January 3, 2020
Peck apologized last week after the images first surfaced.
“I hope that I’ve matured a great deal since then and I’m deeply sorry for everyone I’ve offended,” he said. “Those of you that know my heart, I am grateful to my friends, family, colleagues, clients and fans who have allowed me to apologize and learn from this mistake. I can only hope that those of you that I don’t know, and anyone I have offended, can also find it in your hearts to accept my sincere apology.”
Peck had been on the Paramount Network series since 2012. The show’s 12th season is set to premiere sometime this year.