Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson mocked a wounded veteran running for Congress this last weekend.
During the show’s “Weekend Update” segment, Davidson took aim at Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who lost his right eye in a 2012 IED attack in Afghanistan. Crenshaw is a GOP congressional candidate from Texas.
Davidson said this in regards to Crenshaw’s eye patch: “You may be surprised to hear [Crenshaw is] a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie.” After chuckling at his joke, Davidson then said, “Sorry. I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.”
Instead of demanding an apology from Davidson and NBC, Crenshaw took the high ground, tweeting:
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
One critic of the joke was Dan Bongino, a former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent. He said SNL should be “embarrassed” after the joke and that it crossed a “red line”.
He recalled a visit to Afghanistan with former President Obama and saw first hand what wounded soldiers were going through. “That’s not ‘whatever. Those are men and women who left parts of their body on overseas soil for American freedom.”
He was also upset by the lack of respect the audience had, noting that in the past, if a distasteful joke is brought up, a hush will fall over the audience.
“It almost seemed like there was this ebullient praise for this, like nobody saw how distasteful this was,” Bongino said. “The ‘SNL’ team really needs to rethink this one.”
Another surprising critic, although more sympathetic to Davidson, was SNL cast member Kenan Thompson. He said in an interview with the “Today” show that the joke “missed the mark.”
Thompson, the son of a Vietnam War veteran, said Davidson should have shown better judgment.
“It’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes, like that’s how stand-ups feel, that there’s no real filters out there in the world when you’re trying to go for a great joke. But at the same time, when you miss the mark, you’re offending people. So you have to … really be a little more aware.”
He did, however, stand up for Davidson as well, “Pete’s a very … humble dude and he has a big heart. I don’t think he goes out to offend people.”
What do you think of the joke? Was it over the line? Let us know in the comments!