Terry Crews has condemned “toxic masculinity” in a powerful speech about sexual assault.
- READ MORE: Women from the world of music and entertainment share experiences of sexual harassment for #MeToo campaign
The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and former NFL player accused William Morris Endeavor (WME) agent Venit of groping him at a party in 2016. Venit represents stars such as Sandler, Emma Stone, Eddie Murphy, Diane Keaton and Russell Brand.
Today, the actor spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning proposed legislation known as The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.
Crews began the speech by introducing himself. “I am an actor, author, former athlete, advocate and a survivor of a sexual assault,” he said. “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.”
“The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he held my genitals in his hand was that he held the power. That he was in control.”
He added, “This is how toxic masculinity permeates culture. As I shared my story, I was told over and over that this was not abuse. This was just a joke. This was just horseplay. But I can say one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation. And I chose to tell my story and share my experience to stand in solidarity with millions of other survivors around the world.”
Last October, Harvey Weinstein was accused of rape by multiple women, which he “unequivocally denied”. Weinstein surrendered himself to face sexual misconduct charges at the end of May, before being indicted on rape charges.
Speaking of the women who came forward about their experiences with Weinstein as well as those who shared their stories surrounding the MeToo movement, Crews said: “I wanted these survivors to know that I believe them, I supported them and that this happened to me too.” You can watch his opening testimony below.
Last month, Janet Jackson spoke out against abuse in a speech at the Billboard Music Awards.
“I believe that, for all of our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history,” she said, referencing the recent wave of #MeToo allegations which have shaken the entertainment industry.
“At long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused,” the star said. “I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination, who support us in heart and mind.”