“It’s scary. But when you’re in a cult you need deprogramming,” says the famous actor Terry Crews about toxic masculinity.
With masculinity playing such a big part in not only society but increasingly more and more in the gay community particularly among gay men, the topic of toxic masculinity seems to come up in conversations frequently.
Actor Terry Crews is one person in particular who is adamant about speaking on the subject matter since divulging his #metoo experience back in 2017. In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Crews goes indepth with his views on toxic masculinity.
Terry Crews may be making big moves as the newest host of America’s Got Talent, but the actor and activist is still committed to stemming the tide of toxic masculinity. Ahead of a powerful speech at the 2019 Makers Conference on Friday, the 50-year-old former NFL linebacker sat down with Yahoo Lifestyle to talk about what it’s like to be one of the most public-facing male survivors in this movement.The actor went [in] to detail how, at a party in 2016, a Hollywood executive grabbed his genitals, in front of his wife, while grinning. The actor initially stayed silent about the event, evidently to avoid being “ostracized,” but he later identified the alleged abuser as Adam Venit, a talent agent at William Morris Endeavor. Venit, who reportedly settled a lawsuit with Crews, retired in September 2018.
Besides having the courage to speak on his assault, there’s a hidden question that every man should ask themselves about their masculinity and how they respond to it that Crews brings up in his interview with Yahoo Lifestyle. Do you play a role in toxic masculinity?
Although Crews was the one being objectified in that scenario, he says he relates deeply to the culture that likely fueled it. “When you’re talking about toxic masculinity, I was raised in it. I watched my mother getting punched in the face and beaten and intimidated nonstop,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I was a part of it because I thought, if you can’t beat ’em, join em. I believed that I was more valuable than the women in my life, because everything in my life told me that.”
In the interview Crew’s isn’t referring to the gay aspect but noneless are we all apart of it? Through our upbringing do we all own apart in toxic masculinity without even realizing it? Is that why the current climate of gay male attraction centers on masculinity in which effeminate traits become less desirable? Crew’s goes on to explain the cult analogy.
Crews took it a step further backstage, implying toxic masculinity is religion-like. “It’s a cult,” he says. “I love being a man. But people have taken this thing and warped it and twisted it … what we’re talking about is an abuse of power. There are men who really believe if you win, I lose. Everything becomes opposites: men are strong, women are weak. I was a card-carrying member of that.”
Crews had a rude awakening when his wife left him, which forced him to open his eyes to his own ways of toxic masculinity and we can only hope that the gay male community awakening happens before the community divides themselves based on the notion of masculinity.
Crews says he found his way out of this toxic thinking by being vulnerable — which he realizes is particularly difficult for men. But that’s the point. “I’m asking guys to look at yourself. That’s it. Don’t look out there. Get alone and examine why you think the way you think,” he says. “It’s scary. But when you’re in a cult, you need deprogramming. That’s the whole thing about being in a cult — you believe the lie.”
To read the whole Yahoo Lifestyle interview with Terry Crews click here.