Comedian Pete Davidson came under fire this weekend after mocking a Republican candidate for Congress’ eye patch during a “Saturday Night Live” sketch.
Davidson cracked a joke about the eyepatch former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw wears, likening the Texas Republican’s appearance to “a hitman in a porno movie.”
With a photo of Crenshaw over his shoulder, Davidson remarked: “This guy’s kind of cool.” Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che indicated this might not be a good idea, saying, “Oh, c’mon, man.”
But Davidson continued: “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.”
Davidson, whose whirlwind engagement with pop star Ariana Grande recently broke off, went on to make fun of the physical appearance of several congressional candidates, including Rick Scott (R-Florida), Peter King (R-New York) and Greg Pence (R-Indiana).
Some Twitter users blew up with sharp criticism of Davidson, saying that a veteran’s war wound was not an appropriate subject for humor and that Crenshaw deserved an apology.
Crenshaw also responded on Twitter, noting that he hopes SNL “recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.”
In an interview with TMZ, Crenshaw described Davidson’s performance as “mean spirited,” but said he didn’t need an apology.
“I want us to get away from this culture where we demand apologies every time someone misspeaks,” he said. “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. They’re feeling the heat from around the country right now, and that’s fine.”