On Wednesday, Terry Crews filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department. The report alleges the Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor was sexually assaulted at a Hollywood event last year. Crews had previously revealed his assault on Twitter in a series of tweets last month.
Crews decided to come forward and eventually file the report in the wake of the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal. While he did not name his abuser, Variety broke the news on November 3 that Adam Venit, the head of WME’s motion picture group, is the executive who allegedly groped Crews. Crews is a client with WME, and it is perhaps not a coincidence that Adam Venit is now on leave from the company. WME declined to offer any comment on the matter.
Since the incident occurred just last year, it is within the statute of limitations in California, and Crews’ accusations could lead to a criminal investigation of Venit. Crews claims he received a vague apology from an unnamed executive who “groped his privates”. He says he had not previously reported the assault for fear of becoming ostracized in Hollywood. However, Venit is just the latest name to be added to a long and growing list of powerful Hollywood moguls who have been accused of sexual assault. Aside from Harvey Weinstein, many others have now been ousted for their alleged abuse, including Kevin Spacey, Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner, Casey Affleck, and Steven Seagal. Crews claimed wrote on Twitter that the Harvey Weinstein scandal had been giving him “PTSD” and feel tconpelled to share his story. He claimed that he was groped in front of his wife at a Hollywood function. He says his abuser just “grimmer like a jerk” after Crews jumped back and asked what he was doing. Crews believes that if he had reported the incident prior to the recent Hollywood abuse scandals, then he would not have been taken seriously. He wrote at the time that he thought twice about how a confrontation would appear should he have responded to the harassment physically.
“‘240 lbs. Black Man stomps out Hollywood Honcho’ would be the headline the next day,” he claimed. “Only I probably wouldn’t have been able to read it because I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN JAIL. So we left.” The executive’s power and influence over Crews’ career also played a factor in his earlier silence. He says he understands why so many women stay silent after they have been assaulted, and that it’s a “shame and the height of disappointment” when an abuser takes advantage of that. “Who’s going 2 believe you? ( few) What r the repercussions?(many) Do u want 2 work again? (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized?(No),” Crews tweeted.
Crews hopes that by coming forward, his story will help empower others who have had to go through similar experiences. As a 240 lb black man, he wants all victims of sexual assault to feel empowered, regardless of their size, gender or race. Sexual harassment and assault can happen to anyone, and it is important to challenge the cultural systems that give abusers power and silence victims.
Hopefully, in the wake of the recent Hollywood shakedown, more victims of sexual assault will feel comfortable sharing their stories and outing their abusers without fear of repercussions, and we wish Crews all the best in his fight for justice. In the meantime, it looks like Crews is also turning his hand to furniture design:
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