“Saturday Night Live” comedian Pete Davidson found himself in hot water over the weekend after he mocked a wounded veteran running for Congress, but the backlash isn’t coming from the Republican hopeful.
Dan Crenshaw, who lost one of his eyes while serving in Afghanistan, said in a video he posted over the weekend that he’s not demanding an apology from Davidson. In fact, he asked people to not be “outwardly outraged” by the NBC comedian’s punchline.
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
“I want us to get away from this culture where we demand an apology for every time someone misspeaks,” Crenshaw said. “I think that would be very healthy for our nation to go in that direction. We don’t need to be outwardly outraged.”
He continued, “I don’t need to demand apologies from them. They can do whatever they want, you know. They are feeling the heat from around the country right now, and that’s fine.”
Crenshaw did note he doesn’t believe it’s in good taste for the cast of “SNL” to make fun of veterans. He said they “probably don’t feel as though their wounds they received in battle should be the subject of a bad punchline.”
The Texas candidate doubled down Monday morning during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” where he said he has “thick skin” and doesn’t mind jokes at his expense. He does, however, have a few rules: “It has to be original, it has to be witty and it has to be actually funny. And this wasn’t funny.”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) November 5, 2018
Despite Crenshaw’s encouragement to stop demanding apologies, that’s exactly what the national Republican Party is doing.
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the GOP, wrote, “Dan Crenshaw served 10 years as a Navy SEAL. He received two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor. NBC owes him an apology, we owe him our support on Tuesday.”
Dan Crenshaw served 10 years as a Navy SEAL. He received two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 4, 2018
Davidson himself, it should be noted, is no stranger to tragedy. His father, Scott, was a firefighter killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The “SNL” cast member revealed to Variety over the summer he was admitted to numerous mental health facilities throughout his childhood and teenage years.
He even attempted suicide.
“I tried to drown myself in the pool when I was in the fourth or fifth grade,” Davidson said. “I was trying to get my head stuck in the ladder in the deep end, so I would not be able to get up. But I’m too much of a p****, and my head is too small.”
As for “SNL,” no representative from NBC has yet released a statement on Davidson’s joke or the intense criticism it received.