Terry Crews testified before the Senate on Tuesday in support of the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights. "Abusers protect abusers - and this is one thing I had to decide, whether I was going to draw the line on", he said. And what happened to me has happened to many, many other men in Hollywood.
Crews spoke alongside Amanda Nyugen, whose initial draft and advocacy efforts for the bill led to its signing by President Barack Obama in October 2016.
The hearing was held on the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights, which he said "gives survivors the right to have time to distance themselves from the immediate trauma before making the hard decision to report the assault to law enforcement".
"At long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused", the star said.
The way to fix this problem, as Crews emphasized, is through male "accountability".
Crews has seen pushback since discussing his assault: After starring in the first three Expendables films, Crews told the committee that a producer demanded he drop his sexual assault case or he wouldn't appear in the fourth movie. He confirmed that his lawsuit against his alleged sexual assaulter was the reason he wouldn't be in Expendables 4.
Crews did not go public with his experience until more than a year after he was initially assaulted in 2016. In Crews' case, the act came at the hands of a high level Hollywood executive who didn't seem to care Crews was at an event surrounded by others - including Crews' wife - when he chose to inappropriately touch the actor.
"Senator, as a black man in America you only have a few shots at success". Yet, he emphasized that "being vulnerable and authentic" to men about his experiences as a survivor have helped others come out with their stories too.
When pressed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked why.
"When you look at the culture with men not holding other men accountable, it turns into something that no one wants: A community that totally looks the other way while men, women, and children are being raped", Crews said. "You only have a few chances to make yourself a viable member of society". I'm from Flint, MI. "They're in prison or they were killed", Crews continued. "They're not here", Crews said.