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The “King of Staten Island” should get out of his ivory tower, a local activist said Monday, trashing comedian Pete Davidson for looking down on his home borough and small business owners struggling with coronavirus restrictions.
Davidson, of “The King of Staten Island” and “Saturday Night Live” fame, cracked on the most recent installment of the late-night sketch show that supporters of Mac’s Public House, a borough bar flouting COVID-19 restrictions, are making locals “look like babies.”
At a press briefing held Monday following the arrest and release of Danny Presti, the bar’s co-owner — for allegedly plowing his Jeep into a sheriff’s sergeant trying to take him into custody — community activist John Tabacco took Davidson to task.
“The King of Staten Island’s dad was a proud fireman and a great friend of mine, and I saw Staten Islanders heavily come out and support him [Davidson], his mom, his family and everyone else in a time of need after 9/11, when I cried for his father,” said Tabacco, who never mentioned Davidson by name.
Davidson’s father, Scott, was an FDNY hero who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“When I heard stuff like this, it hits me emotionally,” said Tabacco. “If you came out of your perch in your affluent neighborhood and came down here and told the liberal left, ‘This is a good thing because it’s about our freedom and liberty,’ we probably wouldn’t be standing here today talking about a political prisoner [Presti] who was the victim of, in my view, a political ambush.”
Both Davidson and fellow “SNL” funnyman Colin Jost — who co-anchors the “Weekend Update” segment on which Davidson sounded off — are native Staten Islanders.
Speaking generally, Tabacco said they are “making fun of their friends and the local business owners who are broke and crushed and bankrupt.
“Instead of coming down here as fellow Staten Islanders and standing up for them and bringing a positive light to this thing, what they want to do is go on national TV and try to humiliate the little man when he’s down,” he said. “And to me that’s quite disgusting.”
Shortly after Tabacco spoke out, Republican Staten Island City Councilman Joe Borelli weighed in with a Twitter video.
“Pete said that from the set of ‘SNL,’ where he wore no mask indoors and, despite assurances to the contrary, there was no social distancing from the cast, no masks and minimal, if any, social distancing from the live studio audience,” said Borelli, leading a walking tour of a shuttered movie theater. “The building I’m in right now was not given the same opportunity.
“I don’t want NBC to shut down,” he continued. “I want to hear why thousands of people employed in movie theaters, comedy clubs, concert venues and, of course, Broadway, can’t operate under the same guidelines. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
Borelli slammed the show for allegedly exploiting a loophole that allows it to film with live audiences.
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