Brooklyn Diocese demands apology from SNL after joke comparing Catholic Church to R. Kelly

March 27, 2019 GMT

The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn called out “Saturday Night Live” and NBC after a comedian on the sketch comedy show compared supporting the Catholic Church to being a fan of R. Kelly, an RB artist accused of multiple counts sexual abuse.

In a statement on Monday, the diocese complained that the “only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church,” and demanded an apology from the network for comments made by SNL performer and writer Pete Davidson.

“The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions,” the diocese said. “The mockery of this difficult time in the Church’s history serves no purpose.”

“It is likely that no other institution has done more than the Catholic Church to combat and prevent sexual abuse,” the diocese added. “The insensitivity of the writers, producers, and the cast of SNL around this painful subject is alarming.”

The statement came in response to Mr. Davidson’s monologue during the “Weekend Update” segment on the program’s March 9 episode.

“Before I continue, this guy is a monster and he should go to jail forever,” Mr. Davidson said. “But if you support the Catholic Church isn’t that like the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?”

“I don’t really see the difference, except for one’s music is significantly better,” the comedian added.

Mr. Kelly was charged in February with aggravated sexual abuse against four people, including three underaged girls. He pleaded not guilty and was released from custody after posting bond. He was subsequently jailed on Wednesday on an unrelated matter regarding unpaid child support and released Saturday after an anonymous individual posted his bond in that matter.

The Catholic Church has been embroiled in decades worth of sexual abuse scandals for decades, including the Brooklyn Diocese, which released the names of over 100 clergy members in February they received reports of sexual misconduct with a minor.