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Pete Davidson mysteriously backs out of Blue Origin trip to space after criticism about why Jeff Bezos was footing the bill

March 18, 2022, 5:28 PM UTC

Pete Davidson will no longer be joining the NS-20 crew on Blue Origin’s next spaceflight, the company announced on Thursday.

This update comes just four days after Blue Origin had previously announced on March 14 that Saturday Night Live cast member and comedian Davidson would be part of the NS-20 crew for a March 23 flight. The other confirmed crew members were Marty Allen, husband and wife duo Sharon and Marc Hagle, Jim Kitchen, and George Nield.

The company also announced on Thursday that the March 23 flight would be postponed six days and has shifted to March 29. While Blue Origin did not state a reason for Davidson’s absence, it did confirm that a new sixth crew member would be in attendance, whose identity would become public in the coming days. 

Davidson was selected as an “honorary guest” for a complimentary ride on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, and some social media critics found the free trip to be objectionable.

“If Jeff Bezos can afford to send Pete Davidson to space, he can afford to pay his fair share in taxes,” the Twitter account, Americans for Tax Fairness, wrote on Monday.

Now that Davidson has bowed out of the trip, some fans are suggesting that musician Kanye West replace him on the spaceflight. Social media is abuzz with fan theories on why the actor would opt out in the first place. 

The Twitter account of the Athena Coalition, an organization dedicated to derailing unchecked corporate power, attributed Davidson removing himself from the spaceflight as a political move to protest Amazon’s treatment of workers at its Staten Island facility: 

“Pete Davidson is no longer going to space for Jeff Bezos’s vanity project. Pete Davidson will not be throwing Staten Island Amazon workers under the bus. And will not help white wash Amazon’s daily harm to our communities today. Thanks Pete,” the Athena Coalition tweeted on Friday

Josh Spiegel, an American radio personality, said that Davidson’s departure from the spaceflight had to do with scheduling conflicts at work:

“I can’t wait to see who’s hosting SNL the week of that rescheduled Blue Origin launch, since that is absolutely why Pete Davidson can’t go to space now,” Spiegel tweeted on Friday

This opinion was seconded by Allegra Frank, the senior editor at Slate: 

“Pete Davidson had something better to do than go to space that day,” Frank tweeted on Thursday.

 “So apparently, Pete Davidson can’t get high this time,” John Schwartz, a UT Austin journalism professor, cheekily tweeted on Friday, a clear allusion to both Davidson’s propensity for marijuana use and the destination of the New Shepard rocket, which is over 63 miles into the atmosphere. 

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