A Navy veteran who lost his eye while fighting in Afghanistan responded after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson made fun of him on television.
In a segment on Nov. 3, Davidson, wearing a prison outfit, did a bit while a picture of Dan Crenshaw’s photo was broadcast on the screen. Crenshaw was wearing an eye patch, as he often does to cover his missing eye.
Struggling to talk while laughing repeatedly, Davidson said that Crenshaw lost his eye “in war, or whatever.” The Navy vet actually lost the eye in an IED blast in Afghanistan and only regained use of his other eye after several surgeries, according to his website.
“You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson added. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.”
On NBC's Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson mocks GOP Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw for losing his eye in war: “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.” pic.twitter.com/krQwesqLAV
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 4, 2018
The bit prompted laughter from the audience but backlash from many others, including the National Republican Congressional Committee.
“Dan Crenshaw served 10 years as a Navy SEAL. He received two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor,” said committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. NBC owes him an apology, we owe him our support on Tuesday.”
Crenshaw is running for an open congressional seat in the 2nd Congressional District in Houston.
Doesn’t Need Apology
Crenshaw responded to Davidson’s comments in an interview with TMZ and said that he doesn’t need an apology.
“I want us to get away from this culture where we demand an apology every time someone misspeaks,” Crenshaw 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, you know. They are feeling the heat from around the country right now and that’s fine.”
But he noted Davidson’s “mean-spirited” joke wasn’t even funny, adding Davidson and SNL executives should recognize that “veterans across the country probably don’t feel as though their wounds [that] they received in battle should be the subject of a bad punch line.”
Todd Litton, the Democrat running against Crenshaw, also slammed Davidson’s bit. “No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, Dan’s military service and sacrifice for our country are to be admired and appreciated. Period,” Litton wrote on Twitter.
Neither Davidson nor NBC have responded to the intense backlash.