Remember this episode from 2018? To recap, Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson made an insensitive on-air joke about then-Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw's severe war wounds. Rather than playing into the outrage cycle, Crenshaw appeared on SNL alongside Davidson in a genuinely hilarious bit to bury the hatchet. Grace, humor, forgiveness. It was fantastic:
Nice, cheeky moment. And when it was subsequently reported that Davidson was in the throes of what appeared to be a suicidal episode, Crenshaw reached out to him publicly and privately to voice his support. It seemed as if something positive had emerged from a an ill-advised joke, as anger and cancel culture were rejected in favor of laughter and reconciliation. But in a new Netflix comedy special, Davidson says his apology was not genuine and forced -- and here's his only true regret about what happened:
During his recent special, Davidson clarified that the apology wasn’t as genuine as viewers were led to believe, and that it was a response to political pressure. He told the audience, "People were like, ‘You hate America!’ And I’m like, ‘No, I just didn’t want to be incorrect about how he lost his f–ing eye.” He tried to explain that he had no idea what Crenshaw’s eye patch was for “until seconds before taking the stage.” And that his flippant “whatever” remark was just an on-the-spot improvisation. Davidson did clarify to his standup crowd that he was guilty of giving this guy exposure: “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, right?”
Crenshaw was doing just fine before the gratuitous insult; in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's more well-known than the comedian who's belittling him. Meanwhile, Davidson has grown disgruntled at SNL:
“I’m like, cold open, political punchlines. I’m like, weekend update jokes. When I’m not there, they’ll be like, ‘Huh huh huh, Pete’s a f—ing jerk face.’ And you’re like, ‘Whose side are you on?'...I have a weird feeling in that building where I don’t know whose team they’re playing for really, if I’m the joke or I’m in on the joke,” Davidson revealed...Even with all his less than positive experiences, he’s grateful for his time on the show and all he’s learned. But feeling like he’s “just fodder now” he’s thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t be there?” “I literally was just like, ‘Picture what it’s like to be made fun of and then cut to immediately.'” He adds, “They think I’m f—ing dumb. I’m literally painted out to be this big dumb idiot.” ... “So you’ve outgrown it?” Charlamagne asked him. “Yeah, I think everybody outgrows it,” Davidson replied.
I'd imagine Crenshaw will take this latest twist in stride, but it's really not a good look for Davidson -- who is clearly troubled. The correct response is to have even more compassion for Davidson. We should pray he gets all the help he needs and finds peace.