Amid the height of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, actor Terry Crews used Twitter to tell the world he, too, had been sexually harassed by a powerful male executive. Now, Crews is naming his attacker, saying he refuses to be “shamed” about the alleged incident.
On “Good Morning America,” Crews explained that in early 2016, Adam Venit, the head of the William Morris Endeavor Motion Picture Department, physically assaulted him during a Hollywood function.
Venit, who represents big names, such as Diane Keaton, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, and Emma Stone, allegedly started making tongue moves at Crews during the event while he was with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews.
“I’m looking like, 'Is this a joke?' ... It was actually so bizarre," the actor said. "... He comes over to me. I stick my hand out, and he literally takes his hand and puts it and squeezes my genitals. I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey.’"
Crews said that Venit continued acting strangely even after the actor expressed apprehension.
"And he’s still licking his tongue out and all this stuff and I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing? What are you doing?’ And then he comes back again. He just won’t stop."
Once Crews pushed the executive away, he claims, Venit ended up bumping into bystanders.
The entire experience made him feel like a piece of meat, he told reporters. Expressing exactly what countless women have claimed to have felt when assaulted and harassed by men.
"I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified," Crews explained.
"It’s so bizarre," he added. "I wake up every morning wondering, ‘Did this really happen?'"
Venit is currently on leave from his position.
Terry Crews handling a difficult situation and telling his story and how he will not be shamed. Amazing man and so well spoken. Truly inspiring. https://t.co/20OMIoxerQ— Ryan (@rmdarnell) November 15, 2017
After the incident, Crews went to the Los Angeles Police Department to talk about the incident and file a police report. One day after the harassment incident, Crews fired William Morris as his talent agency.
"People need to be held accountable," Crews elaborated. "This is the deal about Hollywood: It is an abuse of power. This guy, again, he's one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, and he looked at me at the end as if, ‘Who is going to believe you?’"
Crews is right.
As women have, time and again, tried to hold attackers, such as Weinstein, accountable for their actions without any success, it’s important that victims speak out now that the media is paying attention. Despite Crews' horrific experience, he’s taking a stand and showing others that they have nothing to fear.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Danny Moloshok