One of the things we like best about Terry Crews is that in addition to his roles in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and those surreal Old Spice commercials, he’s also an activist.
While some of his activism seems a little odd to us, the vast majority is great. The latest thing that made us love him even more is when, at the ninth annual Women in the World summit in New York, he said, “Masculinity can be a cult.” He followed up with an explanation that included identifying himself as someone who previously ‘bought in.’
Check out Terry Crews’ comments on masculinity:
Terry Crews said:
People have to understand that masculinity can be a cult. And when I say cult, it’s no different than David Koresh, it’s no different than Jim Jones. It’s funny because, you don’t even hear. You know, the best example is slavery. When slaves were yelling, “oh my god, I’m being beaten, I’m being hurt,” the master would look at them like “I don’t understand what you’re saying.” It’s almost like there’s this disconnect — they won’t see pain, there’s a lack of empathy.
And this happens with men and women. Men who are in this cult, you can see as a woman, they talk, but a guy is not looking at you as even all the way human. And this is what you have to understand, there is a humanity issue here. You’re like, ‘Why don’t you hear me? Why don’t you see my feelings?’ And they’re like, ‘But you’re not all the way human. You’re here for me. You’re here for my deal.’ And this is real.
I’ve got a perfect example. I am guilty. I believed simply because I am a man, that I was more valuable than my wife and than the other women in my life. Men have been sold a bill of goods for a long, long time. Let me tell you, when I was in football, one thing the guys would do is go to the strip club. Guys would go to the strip club, and you sit there, and there’s the woman and the whole thing.
And once she starts talking about that she has kids or she starts talking about anything in her life, it’s like, ‘Stop, stop, stop. Because you’re becoming a human before my eyes. I don’t want you to be a human. I want you to be an object. I want you to be something pretty to look at. But as you talk, you’re making things too real for me.’ So scary.
Terry Crews’ experiences with toxic masculinity
Terry Crews knows about toxic masculinity — from both sides. In addition to his own role in perpetuating it, described above, he’s been a victim of it, too. Last year Crews came forward with his own claims of being sexually assaulted. He sued Adam Venit, an agent at the William Morris Endeavor agency, for groping his crotch at a party. Crews also recounted that a number of people rushed to protect Venit and tried to convince Crews to forgive and forget — including Russell Simmons, who was later accused of sexual misconduct by at least 11 women himself.
The case got ugly, and Crews said he feared for his and his family’s safety, particularly after Venit was reinstated at WME after only a month on leave, albeit with a demotion. And last month it was revealed that Venit would not be charged in criminal court due to the statute of limitations.
Venit also responded to Crews’ civil suit, saying Crews wouldn’t win because there was no injury. Venit also claimed it was “just horseplay.” Crews, however, says the incident was more than that: “I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified.”
Crews then tweeted, “Management got a call last week from Avi Lerner, producer of Expendables 4, saying I could avoid any ‘problems’ on the sequel if I dropped my case against WME. Guess who’s Sly’s agent? ADAM VENIT.”
Watch the full panel during which Terry Crews made the masculinity comments:
Do you agree with Terry Crews? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image by Todd Williamson/Getty