Pete Davidson might be Ariana Grande’s fiancé, but that doesn’t make it OK for him to make light of the terrorist attack that took place at her concert last year. According to The Mirror, the stand-up comedian made an insensitive joke at LA’s Laugh Factory just five months after the attack – way before he and Ariana got together. During a stand-up routine in October 2017, he allegedly said Ariana must know how famous she had become because “Britney Spears didn’t have a terrorist attack at her concert.” Pretty bad, we know…
According to an audience member, the joke was met with immediate backlash from the crowd. “It drew gasps from the crowd and everyone squirmed in their seats, the event five months earlier was still pretty fresh, and there were plenty of British tourists in the crowd,” the person revealed.
Now that the joke has resurfaced, some of the people affected by the Manchester attack have come forward to voice their disgust with his “joke,” demanding that he makes a public apology.
Charlotte Hodgson, whose 15-year-old daughter Olivia died during the attacks, called Pete’s jokes “heartbreaking and outrageous.” She continued, “We don’t need jokes about it, there have been plenty around, and it’s heartbreaking to hear every day. But for someone so famous to be doing it and now to be with Ariana, it’s outrageous. I think she would be horrified too.”
One of the survivors of the Manchester attack, Jade Clough, was also shocked after hearing his joke, telling The Mirror, “This isn’t something to joke about, it was a terrorist attack targeted at children. You don’t joke about things like that in a stand-up comedy show. I’m still suffering on a daily basis, I still have nightmares, and Ariana herself has suffered from PTSD. What the hell?”
Pete has a history of making inappropriate jokes on sensitive subjects, including the death of his own father, a firefighter who died on 9/11. Though that doesn’t excuse or justify the things he said, sources told People that the joke was taken out of context. “He lost his dad in 9/11 and is close with other victims of violent tragedies. As a way of coping he turns to humor,” the insider said. “He’s obviously sensitive to tragedy as he lost his own father and his intention is to just make people laugh.”
Neither Ariana nor Pete have commented on the joke but at this point, there is no proof that Pete even said those offensive words. However, his rep did defend him, claiming that the Saturday Night Live star basically has no shame when it comes to his comedy routine. “He is a comedian,” his rep said. “No subject is off limits and that includes jokes about his father and 9/11.”
Comedy has always pushed the boundaries, but we understand why the topic wouldn’t sit well with Manchester attack survivors. The terrible bombing took the lives of 22 innocent people and that will never be something to joke about.