Terry Crews recently got into a social media debate about how men should react in the face of sexual misconduct, and how race factors in.
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One person started the debate when he appeared to question the actor's masculinity earlier this week by tweeting, “Some men actually defend themselves,” tagging an article about actor Jason Priestley recalling punching Harvey Weinstein at a party.
Weinstein, who is accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, has acknowledged inappropriate behavior, but has denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex or retaliation against women for refusing his advances.
After a slew of Twitter users slammed the person in question, Crews also replied, “White people in America can do a lot of things I’d be arrested for.”
White people in America can do a lot of things I’d be arrested for https://t.co/EPjIAAEzrg— terrycrews (@terrycrews) December 26, 2017
This started a back-and-forth debate in the thread and on Crews' social media page lasting almost two days into late Wednesday night.
Regarding the suggestion that Crews should have physically defended himself from his alleged assaulter, agent Adam Venit -- whom he is now suing for sexual battery, emotional distress and negligence, among others -- one person replied, “There is factual evidence that black people are given harsher sentences than white people for the same crimes committed. Public perception of black people is very negative, and if Terry had reacted with violence, it would've just reinforced the stereotypes about us."
Hundreds of people replied, with comments split.
Some people brought up Crews' wealth being more important than race, while another person commented, "I think you're a great guy and very talented ... please don't fall into the anti-white cesspool ... you're better then [sic] that!"
As the comments became heated, Crews admitted that he is privileged, writing, "No one should feel shamed for being privileged. I’M PRIVILEGED. But people confuse privilege with VALUE. No one is more valuable than anyone else." But he didn't back down.
No one should feel shamed for being privileged. I’M PRIVILEGED. But people confuse privilege with VALUE.
No one is more valuable than anyone else.— terrycrews (@terrycrews) December 26, 2017
Fans continued to support Crews by telling him to never back down from online trolls that try to bait him into this type of argument.
Crews then spoke out about his ongoing lawsuit.
"My first attorney told me I should sue for charity because of the 'perception.' I let him know white men sue for money all the time. Then I fired him," he wrote.
Why, when white men sue, they’re called shrewd and savvy businessmen—
But when women and POC do the same thing, they’re called opportunists?— terrycrews (@terrycrews) December 28, 2017
Crews named his alleged accuser as Venit last month on "Good Morning America" and claimed the agent groped him last year at a party. He then filed a suit against Venit and his employer, William Morris Endeavor, earlier this month. Venit was suspended by WME earlier this year.