Why Terry Crews Spoke Out Against Sexual Harassment
Last night, Terry Crews and his wife Rebecca King stepped out for the GQ Men of the Year event, just days after Terry was named one of Time magazine's 2017 Persons of the Year.
Crews, the only man interviewed for the cover story, was one of the "silence breakers" of the #MeToo movement, speaking publicly about his alleged sexual assault. The 48-year-old actor and former NFL linebacker spoke out about well-connected Hollywood talent agent, Adam Venit, who was accused of groping him at a party in early 2016.
Venit is now back at WME, but has been demoted. Vulture reports that after an internal investigation, WME deemed his alleged groping of Crews to have been an isolated incident.Terry told “Extra” how venting on social media freed him, explaining, “I didn't tell my wife, I didn't tell my publicist, I didn't tell anybody... it flowed out of me and all of a sudden my life was never the same — the instant, as soon as I did that, I was free. I was free and it's weird because once you realize, you get that the secrecy is a part of the shame, but when you get it out you get rid of the shame. And also, you identify the predators.”
He called the predators “these people who have been preying on people since you got off the bus to come to Hollywood," and told "Extra" being one of the silence breakers meant a lot to him. "Standing with those ladies and men who have been assaulted... abused... harassed... living their only private horror movie every day and watching them be free, it's the best thing ever. My whole career was for this moment.”
His wife Kim commented on how she felt once she knew he spoke out, saying, “I don't know that my initial reaction was pride. My initial reaction was, 'Okay, here we go.' I wasn't exactly sure what the reaction would be, the public reaction, and at that point there was no lawsuit, there was just, 'I'm saying what I feel.' As we discussed what we were going to do, it became apparent there was no going back.”
“I was there the night it happened and I can vouch for the fact that everybody knew and so we knew that people had to be held accountable,” she added. “Who protects you from your agent? From your agency? There are no words to describe the kind of intimidation... the kind of fear that is present when you are assaulted in a situation that affects your livelihood. I am very proud of my husband, but I am not surprised — he has always been a warrior.”
Crews revealed what motivated him to come forward, saying, “I was trying to stand with the women, that was the initial... because people were calling them liars. They were saying they were making it up. They were gaslighting them. And I watched the stuff happen. I watched my mother get beat, I watched my mother go through this stuff, and I said, 'I can't stand for this, this is ridiculous — the games, the lying.' I said, 'I have to stand with these ladies and let them know this stuff happened because it happened to me!'”
Asked about what's coming up for him in 2018, he smiled, ending by saying, “I'm going to get a new agent — that's what I'm getting in 2018.”