Campus Life

Terry Crews Teaches Lessons with Personal Anecdotes

Actor Terry Crews discussed his life growing up and his support for the #MeToo movement on March 28 in Reynolds Performance Hall.

Though she didn’t get to ask many questions, Dean of Students Wendy Holbrook moderated the discussion.

Crews spoke about his own experience with being sexually assaulted and how this led to him being vocal about the #MeToo movement.

Crews said William Morris Endeavor agent Adam Venit grabbed him by the genitals multiple times at a party in 2016. Crews said he went to many of the higher-ups in the company, all of whom he said wouldn’t do anything about it.

Because of this, Crews said it angered him when he witnessed people denouncing accusers who came out following the rise of the #MeToo movement.

“I remember sitting there and seeing all of these women coming out about the Harvey Weinstein thing,” Crews said. “I couldn’t work. I was on the set of ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ sitting there, and I was shaking … I just started tweeting.”

Crews said that he then sent out a series of 16 tweets voicing his support for victims who hadn’t come forward for fear of being ostracized.

“Turned my phone off, went back to work. Turned it back on in an hour, and the whole world had changed,” Crews said.

Near the end of the discussion, Crews emphasized two points.

“Don’t speak for women. Hold other men accountable,” he said.

Much of Crews’ discussion concerned his life growing up in Flint, Michigan and how it has affected his experiences later in life. He said Flint was a rough city during his childhood and that he knew he had to get out or he could end up dead.

He said this was in stark contrast to before his childhood, stating that Flint was an economically thriving place before his time.

“It had GM, which was basically Google,” Crews said. “When I was a kid, all of a sudden, this stuff ended, and it
ended fast.”

He said a crack epidemic happened during this time. Crews said that when he was growing up, his father was an abusive alcoholic.

He said that while his father was addicted to alcohol, his mother was “addicted to religion,” stating that everything in the household revolved around religion.

“I escaped into art,” Crews said.

Crews also said that growing up he didn’t have anyone who he could confide in.

“I had a ton of questions,” he said.

Crews played in the NFL for seven years and said that the culture in the league was very violent. He recalled an instance where a teammate took a gun to practice and another where a teammate was bailed out of jail to come to practice.

Before the discussion, Holbrook thanked the Student Activities Board for hosting the event.

“They worked really hard,” she said.

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