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The Saturday Night Live comedian was called out over the weekend for making fun of Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw for wearing an eye patch during a segment on Davidson’s first impressions of midterm candidates.
“You may be surprised to learn he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a pοrnο movie,” Davidson said about Crenshaw. “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”
Crenshaw is a retired lieutenant commander and former Navy SEAL who lost his right eye in Afghanistan after he was hit by an IED explosion. After the blast, he was initially blind in his left eye but regained his sight after several surgeries, according to his campaign site.
Crenshaw, who’s running for Congress in Texas’s Second Congressional District, tweeted about Davidson’s joke on Sunday, saying he hopes SNL recognizes that veterans’ injuries aren’t a punch line. He later told Fox & Friends that the joke simply wasn’t funny, but he doesn’t necessarily think Davidson owes him an apology.
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
National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Jack Pandol speculated that Davidson was acting out because of his recent split with Grande.
“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,” Jack Pandol said in a statement. “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.”
Davidson attempted to address the issue of his breakup after the skit mocking the appearance of congressional candidates, telling SNL viewers that “sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s OK.”
Regardless, other Republicans agreed with Pandol that Crenshaw deserved an apology,
Dan Crenshaw has done more for his country than most people in 100 lifetimes. SNL should apologize, immediately. Most of us still appreciate our veterans, and their sacrifices for this great nation.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) November 4, 2018
.@NBCSNL 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. https://t.co/jtSBKmeyma
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) November 4, 2018
Pete Davidson should be counting his lucky stars he will likely never be within arm’s reach of a Navy SEAL (or real man for that matter). Sick little punk.
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) November 4, 2018
The unhinged Left has respect for no one, including our nations war heroes. Utterly shameful that @nbcsnl is mocking Republican Congressional candidate and Navy Seal veteran @DanCrenshawTX for his sacrifice in the line of duty.https://t.co/D3Snni9BZC
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) November 4, 2018
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
Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs while serving as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, also spoke out about what she called an “absolutely appalling” joke. She said, “no one should ever mock a veteran” for their injuries.
This is absolutely appalling. No one should ever mock a Veteran for the wounds they received while defending our great nation, regardless of political party or what you think of their politics. Pete Davidson owes Dan Crenshaw an apology. https://t.co/h3ykHWTiSx
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) November 5, 2018
Fellow comedian and SNL cast member Kenan Thompson said Monday morning that Davidson’s joke “missed the mark,” though he also explained that it can be difficult for comedians to make jokes without offending anyone.
“My father is a veteran, Vietnam, and I personally would never necessarily go there,” Thompson said on the Today show. “But it’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes. That’s how standups feel.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 5, 2018
Comedian Pete Davidson mocked a permanently-wounded veteran. That’s bad.
But the actual Republican president of the United States mocked a permanently-wounded veteran for being captured. I’m completely uninterested in GOP crocodile tears over a comedian. Pathetic. Really.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) November 5, 2018
Davidson has not publicly apologized for the joke.
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