Pete Davidson to Kanye West: “Being Mentally Ill Is Not an Excuse to Act Like a Jackass”

Davidson responds to West’s pro-Trump speech on last week’s SNL as the rapper deletes his social accounts.

Pete Davidson
NBC/Getty Images

Pete Davidson has a message for Kanye West. On the most recent episode of SNL, just a week after West made an appearance as the show’s musical guest during a season premiere hosted by Adam Driver, Davidson went on “Weekend Update” to weigh in on West’s off-air pro-Trump ramblings—and, of course, his MAGA hat. (Incidentally, Davidson’s fiancée, Ariana Grande, was scheduled to play the season premiere, but she dropped out due to what Lorne Michaels described as “emotional reasons,” leaving an opening for West.)

“What Kanye said after we went off the air last week was one of the worst, most awkward things I’ve ever seen here,” Davidson said. “And I’ve seen Chevy Chase speak to an intern.” As West performed closing the show, the cast lined up behind him, many of them (including Davidson, who was onstage until he thought, “I want a career! So I left,” as he explained) with their heads bowed; the rapper wore a Trump MAGA hat that, after the show, he said people had tried to “bully” him into forgoing.

“He wore it all week,” Davidson said, adding that no one had pressured West to take off the hat. “I wish I’d bullied you. I wish I’d suggested that it might upset some people, like your wife or every black person ever.”

West has recently been on a tear of upsetting comments, ultimately casting his lot with accused sexual and domestic abusers. In addition to his endorsement of A$AP Bari, the late XXXtentatacion, and 6ix9ine, all of whom will reportedly appear on his upcoming album, Yandhi, West also said he would have preferred Louis C.K. host the SNL season premiere over the Star Wars star Adam Driver (though West seems to identify with Jedis). And after this particularly unsettling string of remarks from an already outspoken pro-Trump artist, he deleted his social media accounts. (Of course, this isn’t the first time he’s gone dark on Twitter and Instagram—he deleted both last May, not long after his brief hospitalization in the winter.)

Earlier on Saturday, Brett Kavanaugh, a circuit judge whom multiple women have accused of sexually assaulting them during various episodes of binge drinking in high school and college, was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a margin of 50 to 48. So it was fitting that SNL’s sketches—including one that takes place in the locker room with Kavanaugh, another checking in on year two of #MeToo, and Davidson’s monologue—hewed toward the darkly, politically (and sometimes sadly) funny.

During his post-SNL monologue, West said that Democrats want “to take the fathers out the home and put them on welfare,” and that, as he’s said in the past, “if I was concerned about racism, I would’ve moved out of America a long time ago.” Here, too, Davidson pushed back: “You know how wrong you have to be about politics for me to notice?” he asked. “Kanye is a genius, but, like, a musical genius—like Joey Chestnut is a hot dog–eating genius. But I don’t want to hear Joey Chestnut’s opinion on things that are not hot dog–related.”

“I know Kanye is saying, ‘This is the real me. I’m off the meds,’” Davidson went on. “Take them!” he encouraged. “There’s no shame in the medicine game. I’m on them. There’s nothing wrong with taking them,” he continued. “Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass.”