Terry Crews responds after 50 Cent's Instagram posts mock his sexual assault testimony
In the wake of the Weinstein Effect, #MeToo and Time's Up movements, the entertainment industry is making moves to stamp out those who abuse positions of power and commit acts of sexual misconduct. While most of the victims to have come forward are women, there have been some men - notably, actor Terry Crews.
Last November, Crews revealed that he had been a victim of assault. The actor alleged that Adam Venit, the head of the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor, a powerful agency, groped him at a Hollywood function. Speaking on Good Morning America, he said:
"I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it and squeezes my genitals. I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey.’ And he’s still licking his tongue out and all this stuff and I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing? What are you doing?’ and then he comes back again.
"He just won’t stop ... I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified. It’s so bizarre. I wake up every morning wondering, ‘Did this really happen?'"
On Monday, Crews was called to testify at a hearing about the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights, where he gave testimony on what happened to him and what it means as part of a larger conversation about sexual assault. He even revealed that he was asked by a producer on The Expendables 4 to drop his lawsuit, and was subsequently dropped from the movie after he declined.
"In 2016 while at a party with my wife," Crews told the committee. "I was sexually assaulted by a successful Hollywood agent."
"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. This is how toxic masculinity permeates culture."
His words have been incredibly moving, from his opening statement about using his platform to fight for rights and protections for sexual assault survivors, to his explanation for why he didn't react with anger and violence at the time of the incident.
However, while many have come out in support of the actor's brave and thoughtful words on the subject, there have been others who haven't been quite so mature about the issue.
Just before he was due to stand before the committee, 50 Cent posted some photos of Crews to his Instagram account, along with the text, "I got raped. My wife just watched," followed by another photo of the actor, captioned "Gym time".
The rapper posted the poorly-thought-out meme along with a caption that read, "Terry: l froze in fear, they would have had to take me to jail. get the strap".
This post was deleted, while another upload showed a clip of Will Smith slapping away a reporter who tried to kiss him. The post read: "See I think it's a natural instinct to respond this way. LOL get the strap" - leading many to believe this post was also related to the rapper's thoughts on the issue.
Aside from missing the details of Crews story, including the context of where the incident happened, 50 Cent's reaction was clearly an insensitive one. In light of this, TMZ asked Crews if he had a response to this reaction.
"I love 50 Cent, I listen to his music when I'm working out," Crews responded, adding: "I prove that size doesn't matter when it comes to sexual assault."
Crews has already addressed why exactly he didn't fight back, and the answer was satisfactory to Senator Dianne Feinstein. In a tweet, the committee member said that his answer was "a powerful reminder of how victims are too often forced into silence to avoid damaging their careers or reputations."
The Los Angeles District Attorney has stated that a felony filing has been declined, on the basis that "the suspect did not make contact with the victim's skin when he grabbed the victim's genitals and there is no restraint involved," in addition to the fact it is beyond the statute of limitations.
Regardless, the actor's courage in coming forward has helped the call for additional civil rights in these cases, and brought this very serious issue to the attention of many.