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Terry Crews Testifies Before Senate on Sexual Assault

Terry Crews reminds us that men can also be victims of sexual assault.

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In October of 2017, Actor, Terry Crews shared on Twitter that he was groped by a high-level Hollywood executive at an event. It was later revealed that the assailant is William Morris Endeavours (WME) agent, Adam Venit. Crews filed a lawsuit against WME and Venit, who he accused of grabbing his genitals. Venit has denied these allegations.

On Tuesday afternoon, Crews detailed the assault before the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaking in support of the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights. The bill supports victims by allowing access to counselors, police reports and government-subsidized rape kits.

“This bill gives survivors the right to have time to distance themselves from the immediate trauma before making the difficult decision to report the assault to law enforcement,” Crews said.

Unfortunately while trying to share his experience, Crews was constantly disdained. “I was told over and over that this was not abuse,” Crews said to the Senate. “This was just a joke. This was just horseplay. But I can say one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation.”

“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,” Crews shared on Tuesday before the Senate committee. “That he was in control.”

The actor was asked if he faced retaliations to the allegations, to which Crews replied that a producer of the movie franchise, “The Expendables” threatened his position in the film. The producer, who was not named, called Crews’ manager asking for the case to be dropped in order for Crews to secure a role in the fourth installment of the movie. Crews decided to drop out of the film after being given this ultimatum.

Men who have been sexually assaulted are disregarded and ridiculed after sharing their stories. Men are also more likely to minimize the importance and severity of their assault, leading to anger, confusion, self-blame and depression. As males are often deemed as the stronger sex, it is difficult for them to discuss assault, especially when the assailant is female.

Crews shared that the assault forced him to rethink his beliefs and behavior. “I’m not a small or insecure man, but in that moment, and in this time following, I’ve never felt more emasculated,” he said. “As I watched women and colleagues in my industry come forward to share their #MeToo stories, this shame washed over me again and I knew I needed to act.”

Venit was suspended for 30 days during the investigation carried out by the agency. He has been demoted and will no longer carry the title of head of the Motion Picture Department but will serve as an agent.

You can watch the full testimony here.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Ife Abel is a Public Relations student at West Virginia University. She is originally from Nigeria and her dream job would be to travel the world and get paid for it. Ife's hobbies include going to Starbucks, horror films, taking pictures of pretty things and being excited to write for College Media Network!

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