Earlier this week, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews stood in front of the Senate and detailed one of the worst moments of his life: when he was sexually assaulted by a powerful man in Hollywood.
“I chose to tell my story and share my experience to stand in solidarity with millions of other survivors in the world,” Crews said in his speech, which also touched upon the dangers of toxic masculinity and not believing survivors.
WATCH – @terrycrews full opening statement: "I am honored to use my platform and story to help create additional civil rights protections for survivors across the nation under the Sexual Assault #SurvivorsBillofRights."
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 26, 2018
Crews, who was assaulted in front of his wife at a party in 2016, has become an advocate for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. The reason he spoke in front of the Senate was to advocate for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, which would help protect women and men who have been sexually assaulted.
While many praised Crews for speaking out about his own assault, others mocked him. Rapper 50 Cent, for instance, shared an offensive meme making fun of Crews, while some criticized him for not fighting or acting the way he should have, without actually knowing what happened at the party. Crews took to social media to set the record straight.
Why didn’t you say something?
Why didn’t you push him off?
Why didn’t you cuss him out?
Why didn’t you tell the police?
Why didn’t you press charges?
Why did you just let it happen?
Why didn’t you beat him up?
— terry crews (@terrycrews) June 29, 2018
But here’s the thing: even if Crews had done something different, it wouldn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how he acted, because that doesn’t change the fact that it happened. This is just a another form of victim blaming, focusing more on what Crews could’ve-would’ve-should’ve done instead of what his assailant did to him. Just because Crews is a larger, stronger man doesn’t mean that someone wouldn’t try to take advantage of him. The fact that people feel the need to question Crews’ validity and masculinity is honestly disgusting. It’s just another reason why the #MeToo movement is so important right now.
So if Terry Crews won’t say it, I will: you can take your victim blaming and shove it where the sun don’t shine.