Pete Davidson faces backlash for mocking veteran’s eye patch in ‘SNL’ skit
Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davdison is facing a backlash after he mocked a former Navy SEAL who is now a Republican congressional candidate from Texas.
Dan Crenshaw, who lost his eye while serving with the U.S. Navy SEALs in Afghanistan in 2012, was the target of Davidson’s jokes.
Davidson stopped by the “Weekend Update” desk to share his “first impressions” on many “gross” candidates running for office in Tuesday’s midterms.
“This guy is kinda cool, Dan Crenshaw,” Davidson said during the “Weekend Update,” next to a photo of Crenshaw. “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas, and not a hit man in a porno movie.”
“I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever,” he added. “Whatever.”
Many people on social media called Davidson’s jokes “classless.”
Crenshaw, who is running against Democrat Todd Litton for an open suburban Houston district seat, responded to Davidson’s jokes on Sunday.
“Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended,” Crenshaw tweeted. “That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.”
He also spoke to TMZ on Sunday saying it would be “very healthy” for the United States as a whole “to get away from this culture where we demand apologies every time someone misspeaks.”
Crenshaw said he wanted SNL to address one thing: That “veterans across the country probably don’t feel as though the wounds they received in battle should be the subject of a bad punchline for a bad joke.”
“Here’s the real atrocity in all of this: It wasn’t even funny. It was not original, it was not funny, it was just mean-spirited,” he said.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer called for SNL creator Lorne Michaels to be fired when he joined Fox & Friends on Monday.
“Dan Crenshaw is a Navy seal who lost an eye on the battlefield, and Saturday Night Live mocked him for that,” Spicer said. “This isn’t just Pete Davidson that did this, they are continuing to promote this video.”
“He approved of it; he watched it happen,” Spicer said of Michaels. “That entire ‘anchor’ desk of … Weekend Update was laughing at it, and then they continue to promote it on YouTube.”
“This is not apologetic,” Spicer continued. “These people mocked a combat veteran, and this is what they think is funny these days? Lorne Michael should be fired.”
“Thank you for your service It’s sad that Pete Davidson and @nbcsnl don’t recognize what you have sacrificed. That said, you will be a welcome addition to the US House,” Spicer tweeted.
The National Republican Congressional Committee took aim at Davidson in a statement.
“Getting dumped by your pop star girlfriend is no excuse for lashing out at a decorated war hero who lost his eye serving our country. Pete Davidson and NBC should immediately apologize to Dan, and to the millions of veterans and military families who tune in every weekend — because they’re not laughing -NRCC Spokesman Jack Pandol.”
Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, said Davidson’s controversial comments were “offensive to veterans, their families and all who serve.”
Eric Trump took to Twitter, writing, “[email protected] should be ashamed of themselves for last night’s show. Thankfully we have brave men & women like @DanCrenshawTX otherwise gutless cowards like #PeteDavidson wouldn’t have a desk to sit behind. Dan – America is 100% with you! Thank you for the service and sacrifice.”
Kenan Thompson appeared on Monday’s episode of Today and spoke out about the backlash his SNL co-star is facing for the joke he made about Crenshaw.
“My father is a veteran — you know, Vietnam — and I personally would never necessarily go there,” Thompson said. “But it’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes. Like, that’s how stand-ups feel. Like, there’s no real filters out there when they’re trying to go for a great joke or whatever. We try to respect that. But, at the same time, when you miss the mark, you’re offending people. So, you have to kind of, like, be a little more aware, in my opinion.”
Thompson acknowledged that Davidson “definitely missed the mark.”
“I think he was more so commenting on the fact that the joke maybe didn’t land as hard as he wanted to as opposed to being like, ‘I don’t care about veterans.’ You know what I mean?” Thompson said.
He continued: “I think Pete’s a very, you know, humble dude, and he’s got a big heart. I don’t think he goes out to offend people. You know what I mean? But, you know, stand-ups are very like — they’re the ones that help us laugh through the most awful things in the first place. So, they’re always fishing in weird places. That was an unfortunate outcome.”
Davidson has not publicly addressed the backlash he’s facing following the joke as of this writing.
—With a file from the Associated Press
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