Catholic Church-goers are no different than R. Kelly fans, ‘SNL’ sketch says

Screengrab from "Saturday Night Live" video via YouTube

A “Saturday Night Live” sketch in which Pete Davidson compared fans of musician R. Kelly to supporters of the Catholic Church has drawn a mixed reaction online.

The “Weekend Update” segment, which aired Saturday, begins with Davidson discussing a recent documentary containing accusations of sexual abuse against Kelly.

This guy is a monster, and he should go to jail forever,” Davidson says, a video of the sketch shows.

“If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that like the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?” Davidson asks, to gasps and boos from the audience. “I don’t really see a difference, only, like, one’s music is significantly better. “

Davidson then moves away from the Catholic Church to discuss how fans should react to abuse allegations against their favorite musicians.

“Look, I’m not saying it’s an easy decision, I’m just saying, you don’t know how good someone’s music is until you find out they’re a pedophile,” he says. “And the reason everyone’s so upset is because R. Kelly and Michael Jackson made great music.”

“If I found out Macklemore did some weird stuff, I’d be happy to free up the space on my iPhone,” Davidson continues. “It just depends who it is.”

Davidson then suggests that “all really talented people are sick.”

“With guys like R. Kelly, the rule should be, if you wanna listen to their music, you just have to admit they’re bad people,” Davidson says. “All I’m saying is pretending these people never existed is not the solution.”

He concludes by suggesting that people donate $1 to a charity assisting abuse victims every time they listen to music, watch a movie or consume other entertainment featuring an accused abuser.

Davidson then changes topics completely, discussing his relationship with actress Kate Beckinsale, which has sparked comment because of their 20-year age difference.

“But it doesn’t really bother us,” Davidson says.

Beckinsale is 45, and Davidson is 25.

The comparison of Kelly to the Catholic Church prompted a mixed reaction online.

“Sounds like if Pete Davidson can single out the Catholic Church, he should include colleges that have covered up pedophile coaches and the entire USA Gymnastics Team,” read one Twitter post. “I don’t appreciate my faith being compared to one predator just because Pete likes his music.”

“We need to surround Pete Davidson in bubble wrap and love,” read another post. “That guy is what the world needs right now.”

“Pete Davidson just checked EVERYONE! Good on him!” read another supportive Twitter post.

“Pete Davidson’s bit on Weekend Update is cringe-worthy — at best,” read another Twitter post.

The opening ‘SNL’ sketch also focused on Kelly, mocking his interview with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning,” in which the singer erupted in anger at his accusers.

In November, Davidson apologized to newly elected Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, for an earlier sketch in which he mocked Crenshaw’s eye patch, The Washington Post reported. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost an eye in the war in Afghanistan.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.