In October of last year, Terry Crews revealed that a “high-level Hollywood executive” groped him once at a party in 2016. “I understand and empathize with those who have remained silent,” he wrote as part of a longer thread on Twitter. “But Harvey Weinstein is not the only predator.”
That executive was later confirmed to be Adam Venit, from the Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME). Since then, Crews filed a lawsuit against Venit and WME; Venit denied the allegations and one point allegedly threatened Crews to drop it before it was rejected by an L.A. city attorney.
On Wednesday, two videos of Crews on The Breakfast Club started circulating on Twitter, and in them, Crews speaks about how he’s still trying to push his case against Venit:
“They want me to accept to myself that I’m less than a human being. They literally want me to sign off and say ‘I am less than you, what you did to me is okay.’ And it’s not okay. It’s not okay to do to anybody. [...] People are trying to trick you into damaging your own self-image because if you do that to yourself, you already in a cage! And they do that by spreading shame [...] You go to work, you should not be molested. Whoever molested you should be fired.”
He also spoke specifically about those who have tried to get him to drop it, to not make such a big deal about his sexual assault, like Russell Simmons, who currently faces multiple rape and sexual assault allegations:
“This is what y’all don’t know, what a lot of people don’t know. Russell hangs with them guys. Russell hangs with Adam Venit. Russell hangs with Brett Ratner. You can’t gaslight me, I’m from Flint, Michigan. [...] Abusers protect abusers, this culture protects abusers.”
The reasons why sexual assault survivors are silenced, gaslighted, and largely ignored by the public are many, and Crews articulately and thoughtfully puts a few of them into words. Crews has been a longtime advocate for gender equality, and his is a welcome voice in the current discussion around sexual violence and what we all owe victims of abuse.