'SNL': Pete Davidson Mocks Congressional Candidate Who Lost His Eye in War
"I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever," the castmember said during the show's "Weekend Update" segment.
In an appearance on "Weekend Update" during this week's Saturday Night Live, castmember Pete Davidson spoke about the upcoming midterm elections and offered his "first impressions" of several candidates. But his comments about Dan Crenshaw — a Republican candidate for Congress and a former Navy SEAL who lost an eye in an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan in 2012 — have drawn criticism online.
"You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate in Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie," Davidson joked as a picture of Crenshaw appeared onscreen. "I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever. Whatever.”
The candidate's website describes the events of his injury: "On Dan's third deployment in 2012, his life changed forever. After six months of combat operations, Dan was hit by an IED blast during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was evacuated and awoke from his medically induced coma learning that his right eye had been destroyed in the blast and his left eye was still present, but badly damaged."
Crenshaw responded Sunday morning to Davidson's comments on Twitter. "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," he wrote.
Davidson's segment, which he introduced as a look at "gross" candidates during this election, focused primarily on Republicans. After his comments about Crenshaw, he made a few remarks about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to "look fair."
On Sunday, the National Republican Congressional Committee demanded an apology from Davidson and SNL.
“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," NRCC spokesman 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.”
During the segment, Davidson also mocked himself. “I shouldn’t be making fun of how anyone looks, I look like I make vape juice in a bathtub," he joked. "I look like a Dr. Seuss character went to prison.” The comedian then went on to address his recent breakup with singer Ariana Grande.
Davidson, NBC and SNL were contacted for comments but did not immediately respond.