Following a number of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, in October, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews openly joined the #MeToo Movement. Through a series of tweets, he claimed he was assaulted by high-level Hollywood executive Adam Venit, head of the motion picture department at the William Morris Endeavor (WME) agency, in 2016. A month later, Crews filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department against WME and Venit, who has since been placed on leave.
Crews—who was named one of TIME’s Persons of the Year in 2017—has continued to speak out in favor of the #MeToo Movement and Time’s Up. "Equality is more opportunities for everyone because the more people who can play, the more successful everyone gets," Crews said in a new interview with Deadline, pointing to #MeToo and Time’s Up.
"The more people who can enter the story, the more female-driven stories, the more African American driven stories, the more Asian stories, you need every kind of entertainment, every facet to make the whole thing work." Both movements seek to combat sexual harassment and assault in the workplace; Time’s Up does the additional work of bringing gender equality and fair pay to Hollywood and beyond.
Crews was very transparent about how he feels about both campaigns, stating that we shouldn’t let ourselves be fulfilled with "symbolic victories," indicating the $500,000 donation given to Time’s Up by WME. "When you’re talking about Time’s Up, hey, Time’s Up is one of the greatest ideas of all time and I’m standing with these women. I am with it, I could not be more supportive," Crews said. "[But] my assailant still works there, I was hung out to dry, and now they’re pledging this money in an attempt to buy your justice. To me, it’s arrogance on top of arrogance."
Crews coming forward with his allegations against Venit was refreshing for the #MeToo Movement, showing that sexual assault and harassment doesn’t just affect women. "I hear people say, 'Well, Terry Crews, he could just beat everybody up and do his thing.' But I’m not a fighter, I’m an artist. That’s what I am, you know? I’m not a fighter," he said. "What has shocked me more than anything is the support. It’s like I get stopped literally walking down the street and people are like, 'Keep going, Terry, keep going.' I can’t tell you, I cannot describe to you how encouraging, how empowering it is. Because you realize you are not alone."
He also took a moment to call out how "some people in Hollywood have said this feels like it is becoming a witch hunt." Recently, Liam Neeson used those exact words about #MeToo.
"They’re wrong. It’s not. It’s a fumigation, man. That’s what’s really going on in Hollywood right now. Sometimes it hurts for some people, who don’t want change. But this is good because I think we will never go back," Crews added.