On October 10, Terry Crews came forward with a story of a Hollywood executive who groped him at a party. At the time Crews didn’t name who it was — but according to Variety he was considering naming names. However, the executive who allegedly groped Terry Crews has just been placed on leave from his job.
Adam Venit, an agent at the William Morris Endeavor agency has been put on leave pending an investigation into the claims. Venit was one of WME’s top agents. He represented Diane Keaton, Vince Vaughn, Eddie Murphy — as well as Dustin Hoffman and Brett Ratner. Both Hoffman and Ratner have been accused of sexual harassment this week.
There have been a number of other Hollywood agents involved in the continuing sexual assault claims kicked off by the Harvey Weinstein allegations in October. Tyler Grasham was fired from the APA Agency after Blase Lipman accused him of sexual assault when the actor was 18 years old.
The original story of the night Venit allegedly groped Terry Crews
On October 10, Terry Crews took to Twitter to tell his story (edited for clarity):
This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME. My wife and I were at a Hollywood function last year and a high level Hollywood executive came over to me and groped my privates.
Jumping back I said “What are you doing?!” My wife saw everything and 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-pound 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 to take it further because I didn’t want to be ostracized — par for the course when the predator has power and influence.
I let it go. And I understand why many women who this happens to let it go. Who’s going to believe you? (Few.) What are the repercussions? (Many.) Do you want to work again? (Yes.) Are you prepared to be ostracized?
I love what I do. But it’s a shame and the height of disappointment when someone tries to take advantage of that. He knows who he is. But sometimes you have to wait and compare notes with others who’ve been victimized in order to gain 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 where 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.
Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons