In the wake of multiple, comprehensive reports of decades-long sexual assault allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the conversation within the industry today has turned almost entirely to the subject following Weinstein’s firing.
It’s important to remember during the process of exposing one abuse of power, that many, many more often lie just beneath the surface. Actor Terry Crews shared one such adjacent experience today, speaking out on his own assault by a Hollywood executive that he chose not to name. Of course, men can also experience sexual assault, and Crews’ experience speaks directly to that point. At a party — in public — the unnamed executive approached Crews and touched his genitalia, and according to Crews, his wife witnessed the whole thing. For the record, groping and fondling firmly fall under the legal definition of sexual assault, which is “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”
His story also speaks to the intersection of race and privilege in Hollywood; if Crews, a Black man, had retaliated physically, the consequences would’ve been dire. His account has been condensed below verbatim, so some shorthanded was used and has been copied over, with the original tweets beneath. “Hopefully, me coming forward with my story will deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless,” he wrote to end the story, and assuredly, his choice to share will help others.
“This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME. My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates. Jumping back I said What are you doing?! My wife saw everything n we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk. I was going to kick his ass right then— but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear. “240 lbs. Black Man stomps out Hollywood Honcho” would be the headline the next day. Only I probably wouldn’t have been able to read it because I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN JAIL. So we left. That night and the next day I talked to everyone I knew that worked with him about what happened. He called me the next day with an apology but never really explained why he did what he did. I decided not 2 take it further becuz I didn’t want 2b ostracized— par 4 the course when the predator has power n influence. I let it go. And I understand why many women who this happens to let it go. Who’s going 2 believe you? ( few) What r the repercussions?(many) Do u want 2 work again? (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized?(No) I love what I do. But it’s a shame and the height of disappointment when someone tries to takes advantage of that. He knows who he is. But sumtimes Uhav2 wait & compare notes w/ others who’ve been victimized in order 2gain a position of strength. I understand and empathize with those who have remained silent. But Harvey Weinstein is not the only perpetrator. Hollywood is not the only business we’re this happens, and to the casualties of this behavior— you are not alone. Hopefully, me coming forward with my story will deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless.”
If you are a victim or survivor of sexual assault, resources for support are available through RAINN‘s National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.