This morning on Good Morning America, Terry Crews sat down with host Michael Strahan to discuss his experience with sexual assault. And over the course of seven and a half minutes, Crews lays out not only the encounter itself in horrifying detail, but also addresses a whole spectrum of related issues, from the destruction of dreams to victim blaming to the power imbalance he felt.
Some history: Shortly after the allegations against Harvey Weinstein came out last month (was it really only last month?!), Crews stepped forward on Twitter to recount his own experience of having his genitals groped by a Hollywood executive at a party. Eventually it was revealed that the executive in question was Adam Venit, a powerful agent at William Morris Endeavor with a roster of successful clients. Since then Crews has filed a police report about the assault with the Los Angeles Police Department.
In his interview this morning, Crews described feeling emasculated and objectified by the encounter, and then shutting it out and trying to move on. He also credits his wife for keeping him calm and preparing him for situations like this. His own feeling of powerlessness came from the fact that, not only is his career in entertainment tied up in this, but if he were to retaliate physically, as a large athletic African American man, he’s likely to end up in jail.
“When a person in power breaks that boundary, violates that boundary,” Crews said, “you’re a prisoner of war.”
His story is just another example of the power of speaking out, of supporting and listening to each other, and how that can inspire others to come to terms with their own experiences.