Remember when comedian and Saturday Night Live Star Pete Davidson mocked the eye-patch of former Navy Seal Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who lost his eye to a bomb in Afghanistan? Remember when Davidson subsequently apologized for the remark?
Guess what. Now he’s stating that he “kind of got forced to apologize.”
The Daily Beast reports that in his new Netflix stand-up special showing his “Alive from New York” routine, Davidson preaches, “I didn’t think I did anything wrong. It was like words that were twisted so that a guy could be famous.” He added, “So I made fun of this guy with an eyepatch and then, like, I kind of got forced to apologize.” He referenced his mother, whom he calls on stage his “roommate,” getting death threats, adding, “My roommate thought I should apologize so that I didn’t get shot in the face.”
The story of Davidson and Crenshaw began in November 2018, when Davidson said about Crenshaw on SNL’s “Weekend Update,” “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.”
As The Daily Wire noted at the time:
Crenshaw is a retired lieutenant commander with the United States Navy, and was formerly a Navy SEAL. According to his campaign website’s “about” section, he “graduated from Tufts University in 2006, where he earned his Naval officer commission through Navy ROTC.” After graduation, he reported immediately to SEAL training, where he excelled, and then deployed to Fallujah, in Iraq — the first of five tours of duty serving his country overseas.
He lost his eye on his third deployment. “After six months of combat operations,” Crenshaw’s official biography notes that “Dan was hit by an IED blast during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan.” He lost his right eye and his left was “badly damaged.” After undergoing several surgeries, Crenshaw returned to service, deploying twice more.
Crenshaw responded to Davidson’s initial remark on Twitter, writing, ““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.”
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
Crenshaw told TMZ, “I want us to get away from this culture where we demand an apology every time someone misspeaks. 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.” He added, “Veterans across the country probably don’t feel as though their wounds they received in battle should be the subject of a bad punch line.”
Crenshaw later told Alisyn Camerota of CNN, “I do not demand an apology. He probably should apologize, but I don’t want some hollow apology. I think what him and maybe the producers at SNL should do is pool their money together — let’s throw a figure out there, a million dollars — and let’s donate that to a series of veteran’s nonprofits. There’s a lot of veterans that really need help, and frankly, this kind of thing is offensive to them. They feel laughed at.”
One week after Davidson’s remark, Crenshaw appeared on SNL, where Davidson stated, “In what I’m sure was a huge shock for people who know me, I made a poor choice last week. I made a joke about Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw, and on behalf of the show and myself, I apologize. I mean this from the bottom of my heart. It was a poor choice of words. The man is a war hero and he deserves all of the respect in the world. And if any good came of this, maybe it was that for one day the left and the right finally came together to agree on something: that I’m a dick.”
The Daily Wire noted, “At that moment, Crenshaw, seated in a rolling chair, came flying onto the set and rammed into Davidson, where he quipped, ‘Ya think?’”
In December, one month after Davidson’s remark, Davidson wrote on Instagram, “i really don’t want to be on this earth anymore. i’m doing my best to stay here for you but I actually don’t know how much longer I can last … all I ever tried to do was help people. just remember I told you so.”
The Daily Wire reported what happened next: Crenshaw reached out to Davidson. Crenshaw told KPRC’s Khambrell Marshall:
It was pretty … devastating … You don’t want to see somebody in that kind of position, to the point where they’re actually putting out a cry for help on social media — that’s not a good place to be in. Actually, I talked to him personally yesterday, and talked to him for a little bit about it … You know, we don’t go back very far, we’re not good friends, but I think he appreciated hearing from me.
And what I told him was this: Everybody has a purpose in this world — God put you here for a reason — but it’s your job to find that purpose. And you should live that way, with seeking out that purpose, not expecting it to be given to you by anybody else. And know that you have value and that you maybe do more good than you realize for people, especially a guy like that. He makes people laugh — and sometimes he makes people mad. But he makes people laugh a lot. And that’s what we talked about. It was a good conversation.
Before Crenshaw got elected, Davidson joked on “SNL’s” Weekend Update in November 2018 that he was surprised Crenshaw was “a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie.” He added a dismissive “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”
Davidson apologized to Crenshaw on-air in another episode. Later, after Davidson wrote on Instagram that he didn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” Crenshaw contacted the comic to offer support.
But any goodwill between the two might be erased by Davidson’s new routine.
“The only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologized for, is I did make that guy famous, and a household name for no reason,” Davidson said in the special, per The Daily Beast and Page Six. “I did what Ariana Grande did for me. I sucked his dick at SNL.”
Davidson also dismissed any idea that the controversy helped Crenshaw get elected.
“That guy is a Republican with an eye patch in Texas, so it was a lock before he even started,” Davidson joked, per Page Six. “In Texas, I’m pretty sure they only have pictures, that’s how they vote.”
Davidson stirred controversy earlier this week when he bashed his “SNL” castmates for mocking him and said he wanted off the show last year.