Pete Davidson should apologize for a Saturday Night Live joke in which he equated the Catholic Church with disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly, Deadline is reporting.
Last Saturday, during the “Weekend Update” bit on Saturday Night Live, Pete turned up to offer his thoughts on recent documentaries about R. Kelly and Michael Jackson. Kelly, you’re no doubt aware, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault in Chicago and is already facing investigations in Detroit and at the federal level for a slew of alleged sexual crimes. As for Jackson, the recent documentary Leaving Neverland showcased the stories of adult men who claimed to have been victimized by Jackson in their youth.
Davidson, who has never been known to shy away from controversy, offered his thoughts on the matters. Specifically, he equated the alleged sex crimes against children by Kelly and Jackson as no different from those of the Catholic Church, which has for decades been dealing with a widespread problem of sexual abuse of children by its priests.
“[R. Kelly] is a monster and he should go to jail forever. But if you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that like the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan? I don’t really see the difference, except for one’s music is significantly better.”
The Studio 8H audience groaned, gasped, booed, and laughed nervously.
You can watch the clip below, but be warned this video contains content that may be offensive to some viewers.
The Diocese of Brooklyn didn’t find it funny at all. In a statement, the organization called for apologies from both Davidson and NBC, which airs SNL.
“The Diocese of Brooklyn is demanding an immediate public apology from Saturday Night Live and NBC after Saturday night’s disgraceful and offensive skit. Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church. The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions.”
This is not the first time Davidson has made a joke that resulted in calls for an apology. Back in November 2018, Davidson appeared on “Weekend Update” and made a joke in which he mocked a Republican candidate for office, Lt. Cmdr. Dan Crenshaw, who had lost an eye in war and now wears an eye patch. As The Hill reported at the time, calls came from far and wide for Davidson to apologize, and indeed he did on the next episode of SNL. He even brought Crenshaw himself to the show to be apologized to in person, and the two men appear to have made things right.