Pete Davidson, a cast member on Saturday Night Live, took heat over the weekend for mocking the appearance of Dan Crenshaw, a Republican candidate for Congress who lost his eye fighting in Afghanistan.
Davidson, whose actual claim to fame is that he was, up until quite recently, the boyfriend of pop star Ariana Grande, performed a ‘Weekend Update’ segment that included his first impressions of midterm political candidates.
That ‘first impression’ included a scripted line that Crenshaw, who served 10 years as a Navy SEAL and was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor, looked like “a hitman in a porno movie.”
Davidson was so proud of himself, he couldn’t stop giggling like a school girl at his own jokes.
Things got worse when the alleged comedian tried to ad lib after the joke fell a bit flat, laughing “I’m sorry … I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”
On NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson mocks GOP Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw for losing his eye in war: “You may be surprised to hear he’s a Congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie. I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.” pic.twitter.com/krQwesqLAV
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 4, 2018
Crenshaw responds to Davidson
As you might expect from a Navy SEAL who served five tours of duty, two of which were after he lost his eye and nearly lost his vision completely, Crenshaw responded with class and dignity.
He said he didn’t take offense to the joke, but noted SNL should reconsider using war wounds as fodder for their comedy routines.
Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 4, 2018
TMZ also caught up with Crenshaw and he opted to take the high road again, explaining that our country needs to pivot away from demanding everybody make public apologies when they make high-profile mistakes.
Mr. Crenshaw is a classy man and a hero.
It’s the right thing to do. https://t.co/r1vSf9BXwR
— Harlan Z. Hill (@Harlan) November 5, 2018
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) wasn’t about to let the incident slide, and took a shot at Davidson in epic fashion.
The group issued a statement saying, “Getting dumped by your pop star girlfriend is no excuse for lashing out at a decorated war hero.”
“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 said.
Davidson’s own father died in 9/11
There’s one interesting “what if” to this. Perhaps Davidson, who really should have known better than to mock a war hero who fought in Afghanistan after 9/11, was actually making a statement about the joke itself. Perhaps he was mocking the fact that SNL’s writers had him joking about Crenshaw’s looks in the first place.
Davidson has a very, very personal history on the matter – his father was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
How Pete Davidson Has Honored His Father, Who Died in the 9/11 Terrorist Attack https://t.co/voTmt70YI4
— AlMckown (@AlMckown4) November 5, 2018
Could Davidson have actually been trying to point out that the original joke might need some context? The fact that he knew about Crenshaw’s injuries says he at least did some research, whereas his joke writers may have not.