The Diocese of Brooklyn has published an open letter insisting that “Saturday Night Live” and NBC owe “an immediate public apology” for what they described as a “disgraceful and offensive skit” featuring comedian Pete Davidson.
The SNL star said during the Weekend Update segment that “If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?” prompting outrage from Church officials complaining about bias against Catholicism in the media.
“Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church. The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions. The mockery of this difficult time in the Church’s history serves no purpose”, the statement on the website reads.
The letter referred to the child abuse crisis as “shameful, and no one should ever get a laugh at the expense of the victims who have suffered irreparably”. According to the diocese, they are striving to never let such incidents happen again, stressing that they maintain “a zero-tolerance policy” and remove “any clergy member credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor” from ministry.
“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”, the statement concluded.
R. Kelly has been followed for decades by allegations of sexual assault against underage girls and women, and that he has held some against their will. He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008; however, he is facing up to 70 years in prison on over 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, but has pleaded not guilty. Kelly is forbidden from having any contact with females younger than 18.
In a recent interview with CBS, Kelly said that allegations of him abusing underage girls were "not true" and said that it would be “stupid” for him, with his past, to “hold girls against their will, chain them up in my basement, and don't let them eat, and don't let them out”.