After multiple stars, for example Rose McGowan and more recently Gwyneth Paltrow, have talked about their experiences being sexually abused by disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actor and former NFL-star Terry Crews has shared his personal experience on being sexually harassed by an unnamed Hollywood executive last year, and has opened a dialogue on how society perceives victims of rape and sexual harassment
Crews said he felt compelled to open up about having his genitals groped by the executive due to the outbreak of claims in the ongoing Weinstein scandal, and said he didn’t retaliate or speak out before for fear of being jailed or ostracised by the acting community, whilst explaining that incidents like this can leave a longstanding trauma on victims. He then went on to discuss the double-standard that sexual assault victims can face and how being a 240 lbs black man didn’t relate to the typical image of a harassment survivor in the media: “I was going to kick his ass right then- but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear.” The unnamed executive then called the next day to apologise but offered no explanation for his disgusting behaviour.
Crews defies the stereotypes society often has of sexual assault survivors fitting in to a certain image, and showed both strength and solidarity to other victims in his honesty and brave confession in the same way other celebrities have these past few weeks. For Terry Crews to open up about this, despite the risk of not being taken seriously by the media and the public, as he’s a man renowned for his size and physique, shows him actively standing up against both the predator in this case and the narrow-minded ways of thinking society can have. In such a way, Crews has humanised what it means to have been affected by this and that sexual abuse is a threat to all of us, no matter what age, race, creed, sexuality, size or profession.
By raising his voice on the dark side of life in Hollywood and redefining what a sexual harassment victim looks like, Terry Crews is a role model for survivors everywhere and all those in the industry. Countless times, the media and platforms for publicity neglect representing those affected by sexual abuse, leaving victims unable to confide in others and empathise and support those who have experienced similar things. Hopefully, society can start to help those who’ve experienced sexual abuse, and get behind all survivors. Once again, thank you Terry Crews.