The Catholic Church is pissed at Pete Davidson and Saturday Night Live after a Weekend Update segment attacked the Church. This weekend on SNL Davidson appeared on Weekend Update defending his right to listen to Michael Jackson music or R. Kelly music. His joke took shots at the church’s well documented history of pedophilia. “Before I continue, this guy is a monster, and he should go to jail forever,” Davidson said on the segment. “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. Only, like, one’s music is significantly better.” He added, “The other day, my mom was like, I’m going to mass, and I was like, I’m going to listen to the Ignition remix.”
The audience groaned and woaaaaaaaah’ed but didn’t sound angry and the segment got plenty of laughs.
The Brooklyn Diocese issued a lengthy statement complaining about Davidson’s jokes, demanding an immediate apology. The diocese made it clear that they are tired of public ridicule. But if the analogy here holds up, and you look closely, Davidson isn’t even being anti-church in the rant; he’s just anti bad act. After all…he’s going to still listen to R. Kelly.
The statement also accused SNL as getting a laugh at the expensive of the victims of church sex scandals, and went on to defend the work that the diocese has done to combat pedophilia. “The clergy sex abuse crisis is shameful, and no one should ever get a laugh at the expense of the victims who have suffered irreparably. The Diocese of Brooklyn strives every day to ensure that sexual abuse by clergy never happens again.” The statement alleges that “It is likely that no other institution has done more than the Catholic Church to combat and prevent sexual abuse. The insensitivity of the writers, producers, and the cast of SNL around this painful subject is alarming.”
Everyone remembers an unprecedented event earlier this year where SNL offered an on-air apology directly to someone offended by a Weekend Update joke. Don’t expect to be seeing that moment repeated in this case, but you give one apology, everyone feels owed an apology and feels singled out if they don’t get one. But you can expect that the apology given to Dan Crenshaw to be a one time event. In this country we carve out a ‘we shouldn’t joke about that’ zone for veterans, and maybe gender identification, but that’s about it. So if the Pope wants to enlist, or is questioning his identity, we can talk but otherwise, get in line. Everyone wants an apology from SNL from the President on down, and we’re not seeing one coming.