Corporate Advertisers Won’t Say If They’ll Stop Sponsoring SNL After It Mocks Wounded War Hero

By Emily Ward | November 9, 2018 | 11:50am EST
Pete Davidson on the Nov. 3,
2018 edition of Saturday
Night Live. (YouTube)

( -- On the Nov. 3 edition of Saturday Night Live (SNL), a comedian mocked a congressional candidate and highly decorated war veteran who lost an eye in combat in Afghanistan. When asked advertisers the yes-no question of whether they would continue advertising on Saturday Night Live, none of the advertisers directly answered it.

During the “Weekend Update” portion of the Nov. 3 Saturday Night Live, comedian Pete Davidson mocked Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who would be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives three days later in the Nov. 6 midterms. repeatedly contacted by phone and email each of the 24 companies that advertised on the Nov. 3 episode of SNL to ask them this question:

“In its November 3 episode, NBC’s Saturday Night Live mocked congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, who as a Navy SEAL served in Iraq and Afghanistan. While serving his country, Crenshaw won two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart and lost his right eye and was nearly blinded by an IED. On Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson showed a photo of Crenshaw and said: ‘You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie. I am sorry, I know he lost his eye in war – or whatever. Whatever.’

"Your company advertised on this edition of Saturday Night Live. Our yes-no question is this: Do you intend to continue advertising on Saturday Night Live? Yes or no?"

While nine of the companies provided “non-response” responses, the majority did not answer, and not one of the companies gave a direct “yes” or “no” answer to the question.

Belfort Furniture* was the most responsive. It called Davidson’s comments “very inappropriate” and strongly condemned the content of the show. While the company did not say it would no longer advertise on SNL, it explained that it does not usually advertise on the show, and its one spot on SNL was a “make good spot” to replace an advertising slot that was missed on one of NBC’s morning shows.

( Ward.)

“First, let me say that we certainly agree with you that content on SNL on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 was very inappropriate,” a Belfort Furniture spokesperson told “Unfortunately, we do not have access to a television show’s content prior to airing. In addition, we do not have a regular buy on SNL.”

“We were given that spot placement by NBC due to the fact that over 10 spots in our regular buy on NBC in the early morning news, 5am-10am, did not air the week of October 29th,” said Belfort Furniture. “Our regular buy in the early morning news shows was pre-empted due to heavy political advertising the week of October 29. The one spot placed on SNL was a make good spot.”

The company added that it is “very supportive” of those serving in the military and helps assist wounded veterans by providing furniture for them.

“Belfort Furniture is very supportive of all those who have served and are serving in our Armed Forces,” the company said. “We partner with local organizations to assist wounded veterans and their families by providing new furniture.”

A spokesperson from Amazon Studios also responded to by email but did not answer the yes-no question about future advertising on SNL.


“As you might imagine, our customers are as varied as the millions of titles we sell; therefore, we are always testing new advertising environments,” the Amazon representative wrote. “I can assure you that the only intent of our advertisements is to entertain and educate a wide variety of customers about our site. We appreciate and respect your feedback, and I have passed it along to our marketing department for their consideration. We look forward to seeing you again soon."

Amazon Studios did not respond further. 

Other companies that responded to, were also noncommital.

A representative from Verizon wrote, “Thank you for reaching out. We have nothing to add at this time.”


A spokeswoman for Microsoft said in an email, "Thank you for your phone call. I’m happy to look into this for you. Please look over the following information and verify that it is correct; if needed, please provide any additional information/details. This information will be most helpful when reaching out to my colleagues." Microsoft provided no further comment. 

A representative from Fox Entertainment Group wrote, “Sorry for the slow response. We’re not going to comment.” 

Liberty Mutual said it would respond on Wednesday, Nov. 7, but did not comment despite four phone calls and emails from

Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), which owns Olay, did not respond to multiple emails and phone messages sent to corporate spokespersons.

Dior sent a nonresponse, advising that "write a letter to our United States Head Office" with the "exact context you mentioned in your email to our services." called Dior's New York City office and left voicemail messages and sent emails to the company's press office. Dior did not respond further.


Sony Pictures Entertainment sent a non-responsive email: "Thank you for contacting Sony Pictures Entertainment's corporate communications department. This email account is intended for Corporate media inquiries only. We will not be able to respond to other inquiries." Despite emails and phone calls the company did not respond further. 

As of this writing, SNL is still airing a video of Davidson’s comments on its YouTube channel.

--Craig Bannister and Craig Millward contributed to this story.

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