The 44th season of Saturday Night Live premiered on Saturday night, and it definitely gave fans a lot to talk about—good and bad. In particular, there was one moment during Pete Davidson's turn on the "Weekend Update" desk that Twitter was decidedly not OK with.
While sitting down with SNL cast mate Colin Jost to chat about his engagement (and whether or not the couple has a prenup), Davidson joked that his fiancée, singer Ariana Grande, pays $ 60,000 for rent while all he has to do is "stock the fridge." When Jost commented that a man "doesn't always have to be the breadwinner in a relationship," Davidson replied, "G*****n right, he does not—last night I switched her birth control with Tic Tacs."
He continued, "I believe in us and all, I just want to make sure she can't go anywhere."
If you're fully cringing at this statement, you are definitely not alone. Fans on Twitter were less than thrilled with the birth control comment, especially given the timing of this week's episode.
"Apparently Pete Davidson thinks it’s ok to make jokes about switching Ariana’s birth control with tic-tacs?? Really? At this stage in the game this dude can no longer call these jokes," wrote one person on Twitter. "Hey Pete Davidson, can you not make creepy and uncalled for jokes about switching your fiancé’s birth control with tic tacs? Let’s not normalize that disgusting manipulation," wrote another.
Yes, Davidson's comment was a joke. But it references a form of abuse that far too many people actually experience.
As SELF wrote previously, trying to trap someone in a relationship with this kind of birth control sabotage—or "reproductive coercion"—is an obvious consent issue and form of manipulative abuse. It can take many forms, Bedsider explains, including poking holes in condoms, throwing away or hiding birth control pills, or removing a birth control ring.
In addition to the risk of an unwanted pregnancy, there are plenty of other health reasons why someone might need to be on hormonal birth control. For instance, these drugs are often used to manage the symptoms of PCOS, endometriosis, and migraines. So the decision to stop taking them should be left to you and your doctor.
If your partner is pressuring you to stop taking your birth control or tampering with it, it's important to realize that this is a sign of a much larger issue. You can reach out to the Hotline to get information and find local resources for getting out of an abusive relationship. But that's obviously not always easy or immediate. So, in the mean time, you can look into forms of birth control that are much harder to mess with, such as the IUD, implant, or shot.