Terry Crews Sheds Light on Toxic Masculinity: It’s Impossible to Love Someone & Control Them at the Same Time.
Terry Crews sparked dialogue among many in the entertainment industry when he joined the #MeToo movement. In October 2017, Crews shared his own story of sexual assault via Twitter. In a thread of tweets, he confessed how he was sexually assaulted by Adam Venit, the head of the motion picture department at William Morris Endeavor (WME). The Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor was encouraged to share his story when he seen women who came forward about Harvey Weinstein get called “gold diggers” and “opportunists.”
Since stepping forward, he has filed a civil suit against Venit with a expected court date of July, according to reports. He hopes to
hold Venit accountable for his sexual predatory behavior and to hold WME accountable for its conduct in condoning, ratifying, and encouraging that behavior.
Crews received support from countless women, TIME magazine, and has even received a Voice of Courage award from Safe Horizon.
Recently, the 49-year-old went on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah to talk about his secret role in “Deadpool 2”, how excited he was when Brooklyn Nine-Nine got picked up for another season, his battle with toxic masculinity, and the lessons he wishes to pass on to other men and women who are victims of abuse. Peep the excerpts below.
On how he found out Brooklyn Nine-Nine was canceled:
Every show is like its own personality and own human being. I was literally doing another show, and got the email the show was canceled. Then the whole day goes by, and the Internet goes nuts. Then Hulu passes and Netflix passes, then NBC picks us up 30 hours later!
Why he didn’t tell anyone he was shooting “Deadpool 2”:
First of all, it was the biggest secret. If I would have told anybody I was in it, they would have owned my kids. Marvel is about secrecy. These fanboys do not play. I was literally walking to set in my whole costume in a blanket. They want any bit of information!
On how he has become a staple in Hollywood:
It happens when you do your own thing. I hate competition. Competition is the exact opposite of creativity. I’m the only guy who can go from Sesame Street, to a Kendrick Lamar video, all the way over to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and its because I’m me!
By being me, and being the best me possible. That’s what I discovered, when you first get in town, they want you to be the next this or the next that. But I just wanted to do what I do. They noticed that, and right now, it’s been the key to my career.
His experience with sexual assault:
Women have been talking about this for thousand of years. What happens is, men have turned off; it’s one of those things where, they’ve stopped listening. What I discovered was, when my story broke, it allowed people to see their lines got stepped on. You get tricked into thinking ‘it’s part of the job.’ It’s about power, it’s never about sex. It’s about someone trying to dominate you.
He was literally trying to show me he had my genitals in his hands. But he also is supposed to be the person who protects me – he was my agent! And what’s so crazy is success is the warmest place hide. Successful people know they can get away with this [sexual misconduct]. My agent was like, ‘I know you aren’t going to tell anybody.’ He got the surprise of his life when he found out I was telling everybody!
The one lesson he wants men to understand:
It’s impossible to love someone and control them at the same time. Men have this thing where you must control your world, but you can’t control other people. People get it mixed up, and they’re trying to control others. You telling everyone what to do, does not make you the boss. You doing everything you told yourself to do, makes you the boss.
On his experience of toxic masculinity:
I was a card carrying member of the toxic masculinity group. It was my way or the highway. I had my family under my fist. Then all of a sudden, everyone in my life was like, ‘I don’t want to be around you.’ Then I realized, I don’t want to be alone. I’ve been tricked into thinking these things were apart of manhood. And actually, when masculinity turns into a cult, and you don’t look like the things modern masculinity looks like, you’re shunned!
On how he has been treated since speaking out:
‘Oh, Terry Crews is not a real man because he is showing deference to women!’ And I’m like if we are all not equal, nobody is equal! That’s the issue. If you don’t lift up those who need help, you never get help. I put the book out in 2014 and it feels absolutely amazing to validated right now!
How he overcame his experience of living in a dysfunctional home:
I remember looking at videos, and I was yelling at her as if she was a 30-year-old man. I remember I was in tears. ‘[Thinking] that was me, how could I do this to her?’ Everyone needs wake up calls. Things that I thought were cool were really toxic, and I had accepted these wrong things. I always come back to my kids, and say sorry. We can fix this! I want to be the guy that brings this stuff up, and be comfortable to talk about it. My son is growing up in a different world than I grew up in.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine was renewed for a sixth season by NBC and “Deadpool 2” is in theaters now.