It is certainly not news that Saturday Night Live likes to poke fun of politicians, especially on the Republican side of the aisle. But a recent bit mocking Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw — who lost an eye in an IED blast in Afghanistan — went too far for many on both sides of the aisle.
During the “Weekend Update” portion of the NBC program, cast member Pete Davidson began a segment discussing Texas Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, who he sarcastically described as “pretty cool” as a picture of Crenshaw flashed on the screen.
Then Davidson chuckled and said, “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate for Texas and not a hit-man in a porno movie… I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever. 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
Crenshaw, who is fluent in Spanish, is a former Navy SEAL who has been deployed overseas five times, according to his campaign website. On the third such deployment in 2012, he was injured by an IED blast that almost blinded him, and cost him his right eye. He wears the patch to cover the damage caused by that blast.
Crenshaw is running to represent the heavily-Republican second district of Texas, and is widely expected to win against his general election opponent, Democrat Todd Litton. The incumbent, Ted Poe (R) is retiring, and the race is rated “Likely Republican” by the Cook Political Report.
Crenshaw responded on Twitter in a restrained fashion.
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
The skit was likewise immediately condemned by numerous conservative and Republican figures. However, in this case, the condemnation was nearly universal, including a number of nonpartisan journalists and liberal commentators.
This is absolutely revolting! You cannot credibly complain about @realDonaldTrump insensitive rhetoric if you’re going to turn around and do the same thing. @nbcsnl owes Mr. Crenshaw an apology. https://t.co/PCThsH4G7b
— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) November 4, 2018
Dan Crenshaw shouldn’t be in Congress. He will vote lockstep with Trump to privatize the VA and hurt veterans, but its NEVER appropriate to joke about injuries veterans get while defending this nation. @nbcsnl should apologize. We should beat Dan, all other Republicans, on issues https://t.co/LijnWTp3cE
— Jon Soltz (@jonsoltz) November 4, 2018
The NRCC also quickly issued a blistering statement about Davidson and the Saturday Night Live program.
— NRCC (@NRCC) November 4, 2018