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SNL’s Pete Davidson slammed for mocking Republication candidate who lost his eye in war

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Pete Davidson appears to joke about rushing to propose on a ‘Saturday Night Live’ promo. And former fiancée Ariana Grande is not amused.
USA TODAY

Pete Davidson is catching some heat for mocking a former Navy SEAL turned congressional candidate who lost his eye in war.  

During this week’s “Saturday Night Live” episode, the newly single Davidson stopped by the “Weekend Update” desk to offer his “first impressions” on several “gross” candidates running for office in the midterm elections. 

After cracking jokes about Florida Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Rep. Peter King (New York), Davidson took aim at Republican Dan Crenshaw, whose picture appeared on the screen.

“You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate in Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” the comedian said, fighting back laughter. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever. Whatever.”

Related: Pete Davidson calls Ariana Grande a ‘wonderful, strong person’ on ‘Weekend Update’

Crenshaw, who’s vying to become the representative for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District, lost his right eye to an IED blast in Afghanistan during his third deployment in 2012. The Navy SEAL was deployed twice more overseas in 2014 and 2016 after regaining sight in his badly damaged left eye, according to his website.

Davidson also took a shot at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “look fair,” before making fun of Republican congressional candidate Greg Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s older brother, and even himself.



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The comments about Crenshaw, however, left a lasting impression on many social media users, who deemed his jokes “classless” and “disgusting.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee hit back at Davidson in a scathing statement that referenced the comedian’s broken engagement to Ariana Grande. 

More: Pete Davidson proposed to Maggie Rogers on ‘SNL’ promo, and Ariana Grande is not amused

“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 posted to Twitter. “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.”

Meghan McCain, daughter of the late war hero Sen. John McCain, said Davidson’s controversial comments were “offensive to veterans, their families and all who serve.”

Related: Meghan McCain returns to ‘The View’ after father’s death

A social media user named @TimRunsHisMouth described Crenshaw as a hero: “Totally cheap, disgusting and classless of SNL to have Pete Davidson mock Dan Crenshaw for wearing an eye patch … then giggle that he was injured in the line of duty.” 

Related: Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next’ single name-drops Pete Davidson, Mac Miller

@MarkDucker109 even called for Davidson’s termination and threatened to boycott until an apology is made: “I am done with NBC until action is taken. SNL and Davidson should be ashamed.”

Related: Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson cover up matching ink that outlived their engagement

USA TODAY has reached out to Davidson’s representative for comment. 

Related: Pete Davidson laughs off Ariana Grande split: ‘Does anybody have any open rooms?’

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