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SNL’s Pete Davidson says he was ‘sorta forced to apologize’ to Navy SEAL Rep. Dan Crenshaw over war wound ‘joke’

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, former Navy SEAL. (Dan Crenshaw/Facebook)
February 27, 2020

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson sparked a controversy in 2018 when he made jokes about the combat injuries then-candidate and current Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw suffered in an IED blast while serving as a U.S. Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. Though Davidson later apologized to Crenshaw, he now appears to have retracted that apology in his latest Netflix standup special.

In his latest Netflix special, “Alive From New York,” Davidson spends about nine minutes of his overall 49 minute stand up special rehashing the 2018 controversy with Crenshaw. In his new special, Davidson said, “I made fun of this guy with an eye patch and then I kind of got forced to apologize ‘cause like people were threatening to shoot me in the face.”

“This guy is kind of cool, Dan Crenshaw. You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson had said in his original SNL skit on Dan Crenshaw. ““I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever…”

Though the jokes drew quick criticism, Crenshaw agreed to join Davidson on the SNL set the following week where he exchanged a few light jabs with Davidson and Davidson extended an apology to Crenshaw, which the SEAL accepted.

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In his new special, Davidson retold the story of how he wrote the controversial joke and the backlash that ensued.

“I didn’t think I did anything wrong,” he said. “It was like words that were twisted so that a guy could be famous.”

He said his remarks, that Crenshaw lost his eye in combat “or whatever” were misinterpreted as a slight against the country and its service members.

“I said, ‘Whatever,’ and people were like, ‘You hate America!’” he said. “No, I just didn’t want to be incorrect about how he lost his fucking eye. Is that a fucking crime?”

Davidson went on, sarcastically apologizing for not having a “baseball cards with all of [Crenshaw’s] stats and information.”

He also said his mother, which he refers to as his “roommate” was one of several people who urged him to apologize.

Davidson also apologized for popularizing Crenshaw though he argued that his controversial jokes did not help Crenshaw win election.

“I did not make that guy win. That is America’s fault.” he said. “The only thing I did do, which I am guilty of and I apologize for, is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason.”

It seemed the two had put the controversy past them and Crenshaw even reached out to Davidson when the comedian appeared to express suicidal ideations just weeks after the initial controversy subsided.

“i really don’t want to be on this earth anymore,” Davidson wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. “i’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all i’ve ever tried to do was help people. just remember i told you so.”

Crenshaw said he reached out to give Davidson support after the comedian appeared to be in crisis.

“I told him everyone had a purpose in this world. God put you here for a reason,” Crenshaw said.