The #MeToo and Time's Up movements have finally given many survivors the courage to share their experiences with sexual misconduct. All across Hollywood, stars applaud each other for wearing black on the red carpet or sporting tiny Time's Up pins; but, while many survivors are embraced for their heroism and bravery, some, like Terry Crews, have been somewhat ostracized by their peers.
"I understand masculinity. My years in the NFL, years out here, all this stuff, years in the hood, you get it," he said. "And you know how wrong it is. I can't be silent. I feel like my whole career was basically for this moment."
Crews has been quite vocal about Hollywood's disturbing culture of abuse and sexual misconduct, and has wasted no time calling out alleged predators such as former Girls writer Murray Miller. Though he knows there could be professional and personal repercussions (he recently alleged that his family was being tracked and monitored) or speaking out, Crews said he feels obligated to let people know about the ugly side of the entertainment industry.
"People don't understand that Hollywood is a very violent place," Crews told BuzzFeed. "The best way to put it is that it's like a plantation. You use extreme violence. You see a lot of people who never work again. For even speaking up the whole thing is that they cut your head off so that the next person doesn't speak."
For him, the only way he can feel "free" is to keep speaking his truth.
"They don't want to see me comment, but I'm not going anywhere," Crews told BuzzFeed. "They lead this thing through shame. [They] shame you so you feel like you gotta hide in the house. …[But] once you get rid of shame, you get to step off the slave plantation. And I get to be free. This is a good thing."
He's not just keeping his fight alive on Twitter, though. Crew filed lawsuits against both Venit and his employer, WME in hopes of getting justice. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles District and City attorneys rejected his criminal complaint against Venit because the alleged assault — which was filed as a misdemeanor — had taken place outside of the statute of limitations. To make matters worse, Crews told BuzzFeed he still has to pay WME anytime he makes money off of "any project he made while signed with them." The setbacks, though terrible, haven't deterred Crews from wanting to help others.
Currently, Crews is seeking long-term solutions, such as including "morality clauses" that would allow actors to avoid having to pay or work with their alleged abusers.
It's a great idea worth being explored. Perhaps it's time to start viewing Crews as more than just the muscle behind #MeToo and also consider him part of the brains.