In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein reckoning last year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews was one of many celebrities who opened up about their own experiences with sexual harassment in the industry. This week, he took his stories and his voice to Capitol Hill.
“I am an actor, author, former athlete, advocate, and a survivor of a sexual assault,” Crews began his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC, where he was speaking in support of the proposed Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.
In October, Crews alleged on Twitter that he had been groped at a 2016 industry event by a high-level Hollywood agent, and that he did not escalate the incident out of fear of being ostracized. “Par [for] the course when the predator has power [and] influence,” he said at the time.
In his testimony this week, Crews said the incident made him want to come forward and “reflect on the cult of toxic masculinity that exists in our society.” The actor got very personal in front of the Judiciary Committee, admitting the ways he had participated unknowingly in that culture.
“Hollywood definitely has been a problem area, simply because so many people view this as a dream,” he continued. “And what happens is, someone has power over these dreams…you get tricked into thinking that this type of behavior is expected, that it’s part of the job, that this harassment, abuse, even rape, is part of your job description.”
Crews was advocating for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights alongside Amanda Nguyen, who conceived of it in 2016. The bill’s overall aim is to establish statutory rights and consistent rules and processes at a federal level for prosecuting sexual assault cases.
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(photo via Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)