Terry Crews Condemns "Toxic Masculinity" in Senate Testimony on Sexual Assault
“I wanted these survivors to know that I believe them, I supported them and that this happened to me too," said the actor and former pro athlete.
Terry Crews delivered powerful testimony on Tuesday when he spoke on Capitol Hill about sexual assault.
The actor and former NFL player condemned “toxic masculinity” while speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning proposed legislation known as the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, which he called "critical."
"I am an actor, author, former athlete, advocate and a survivor of a sexual assault," Crews began. "Hollywood definitely has been a problem area, simply because so many people who view this as a dream. And what happens is, someone has power over these dreams ... you get tricked into thinking that this type of behavior is expected, that it’s part of the job, that this harassment, abuse, even rape, is part of your job description."
Since the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, which began in October with investigations by The New York Times and The New Yorker, a number of powerful men in the entertainment industry have been disgraced and outcast as victims of sexual abuse came forward with their stories. They were no longer afraid to speak out. Crews was one of those victims.
"I wanted these survivors to know that I believe them, I supported them and that this happened to me, too," he said.
The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star accused William Morris Endeavor's Adam Venit of groping his genitals at a party in 2016.
In his testimony, Crews pointed to the incident as what made him want to come forward and "reflect on the cult of toxic masculinity that exists in our society."
"What happened to me has happened to many, many other men in Hollywood," he said. "And since I came forward with my story, I have had thousands and thousands of men come to me and say, ‘Me, too, this is my story. But I did not have the confidence, or I did not feel safe enough, to come out.' Because what happens is, you get blacklisted, your career is in danger — after that, no one wants to work with you."
To underscore his point, Crews revealed that he will not appear in the upcoming Expendables 4.
"Simply because this same producer is under his own sexual assault investigation," Crews said. "Abusers protect abusers. And this is one thing I had to decide, whether I was going to draw the line on. Am I going to be a part of this or am I gonna take a stand? And there are projects I had to turn down."
Crews did file a criminal complaint against Venit, but the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office declined to prosecute due to the statute of limitations.
Watch Crews' full testimony above.