Just before the 2018 midterm elections, Davidson, 26, received widespread criticism for joking about Crenshaw, 35, who lost an eye while serving in Afghanistan six years earlier. The comedian addressed the supposed scandal head-on during his new Netflix special, Pete Davidson: Alive From New York.
“I got in trouble last year because I was making some jokes,” the Set It Up star began. “I didn’t think I did anything wrong. It was like words that were twisted so that a guy could be famous.”
Days after the SNL incident, Crenshaw expressed his disappointment in the sketch comedy institution for allowing Davidson’s joke to air. “We don’t need to be outwardly outraged,” he explained to TMZ at the time. “I don’t need to demand apologies from [SNL]. They can do whatever they want, you know. They are feeling the heat from around the country right now and that’s fine.”
The following week, however, the Staten Island native returned to the Weekend Update desk to issue a formal apology. “The man is a war hero and he deserves all the respect in the world,” Davidson said to the camera.
More than a year after the controversial comedy moment, the Guy Code alum revealed that he was the target of death threats because of what he thought was a harmless joke. Even his mother — who Davidson refers to as his “roommate” — received a threatening phone call after the situation made headlines.
“So I made fun of this guy with an eyepatch and then, like, I kind of got forced to apologize,” Davidson explained in his special. “My roommate thought I should apologize so that I didn’t get shot in the face.”
The SNL scandal made the then-candidate a more public figure than he ever would have been, but the comedian insists that he “did not make that guy win.”
“I did not do anything for that guy,” he concluded. “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.”
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