Pete Davidson SNL absence caused by skipped rehearsals; celebrities concerned about mental health

Pete Davidson had a hard week last week. Many started to worry about the comedian’s mental health after he posted to Instagram what seemed to be suicidal thoughts. Davidson was then suspiciously absent from this past weekend’s Saturday Night Live. He only appeared for one line, to introduce musical guest Miley Cyrus and had a small cameo in a pre-recorded sketch. This came after a whirlwind weekend leading many fans and celebrities alike to ask, “Is Pete Davidson okay?”

On Saturday morning, Davidson uploaded a distressing post to his Instagram and then promptly deleted his recently revived social media account. This is not the first time that the young SNL star has deleted his Instagram, but the content of the last post caused many to worry that Davidson was contemplating suicide.

The post raised enough alarms for the NYPD to perform a wellness check. The officer on the scene reportedly could speak to Davidson and the department has confirmed to NBC that he was at work and fine.  

Many celebrities tweeted their worries, which ranged from general support to active requests for someone to check on him. TMZ reported that his former fiancé Ariana Grande tried to check on him as well saying, “She rushed to 30 Rock to comfort him over the weekend,” but Davidson refused to see her. Sources say that his security team would not let Grande see him at Davidson’s request.

TMZ also reported the SNL production staff said that the reason he was largely absent from Saturday night’s show was that he had missed rehearsals and had to be cut from sketches. They also reported that Davidson stayed in his dressing room for most of the taping. He reportedly emerged during a commercial break to ask another cast member, “Can I just give you a hug?”

Davidson has been open about being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD including a very vulnerable appearance on WTF with Marc Maron. BPD is a hard disease to define because it is diagnosed by actions the patient takes and not from any physical symptoms. The DSM-5 classifies it as “a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.” These contexts include, sadly, recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats or self-mutilating behavior.

Unfortunately, while research is being done on the disorder, there is no cure for BPD. The Psychiatric Times wrote back in 2006, “It is rare to find patients with BPD who have never shown any suicidal behavior,” and that about 10% of patients with BPD will die from suicide.

From Jada Pinkett Smith to Glenn Beck, celebrities have been posting about their own struggles with suicidal thoughts in support of Davidson. Many celebrities have been rumored to have BPD, but Davidson has been more open than most about his disorder. Early this month in a now-deleted Instagram post, Davidson said, “I’ve spoken about BPD and being suicidal publicly only in the hopes that it will help bring awareness and help kids like myself who don’t want to be on this earth.”

Hopefully, Davidson will keep speaking out and stay on this earth to battle these thoughts for many years to come.

[If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at]

Rosa Escandon

I am a stand up comic and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. When I'm not on stage, I am Comedy Editor for The Tusk, sit on the board of the Cinder Block Comedy Festival, and writing my next project. I am passionate about writing about feminism and comedy as well as how women, LBGTQ people, and minorities are changing the face of comedy and entertainment. You may have seen me on Buzzfeed Video, Seriously.TV, aplus, or maybe just on twitter.

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