Veteran Dan Crenshaw Says Pete Davidson Shouldn't Apologize for Joke — But SNL Costar Disagrees
Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw doesn’t have any hard feelings toward Pete Davidson.
Crenshaw said the comedian doesn’t owe him an apology after he found himself the subject of a Saturday Night Live joke that made fun of his war-caused disability.
“I want us to get away from this culture where we demand apologies every time someone misspeaks,” he told TMZ in a video. “I think that would be very healthy for our nation to go in that direction. We don’t need to be outwardly outraged. 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.”
During Saturday’s episode of the hit comedy sketch show, Davidson made an appearance on “Weekend Update” where he gave his first impressions on a few of the candidates running for office in the midterms elections.
When a photo of Crenshaw came up, Davidson joked that he looked like a “hitman from a porno” due to his eyepatch, which he wears after losing an eye serving in Afghanistan.
“I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever,” he said as he laughed. “Whatever.”
Davidson immediately received harsh backlash for the joke, with his castmate Kenan Thompson even saying he crossed the line.
“It definitely seems it,” he said during an appearance on the Today show. “My father’s a veteran, Vietnam, and I personally would never necessarily go there, but it’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes — like that’s how standups feel like there’s no real filters out there in the world when they’re trying to go for a great joke or whatever, and we try to respect that but at the same time, when you miss the mark, you’re offending people so you have to really be a little more aware in my opinion.”
“He [Davidson] definitely missed the mark,” he added.
On social media, many called Davidson out for being insensitive.
“It’s not political correctness to say this joke literally belittles Dan Crenshaw’s sacrifice for our country,” wrote one Twitter user. “He deserves our thanks and Pete Davidson‘s apology.”
And while Crenshaw said he doesn’t need an apology, he did warn the show against using veterans wounds as a “punchline for a bad joke.”
“But I would like [Davidson] and Saturday Night Live to recognize something,” he said. “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. And here’s the real atrocity in all of this: It wasn’t even funny … It was just mean-spirited.”
On Monday, Crenshaw also suggested that Davidson and the SNL cast consider raising money and donating to a veterans charity during an appearance on Fox.