Presumably empowered by the sight of decades’ worth of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein being dragged into the light, a number of people in the entertainment industry have begun opening up about their own experiences with powerful men in Hollywood forcing them into unwanted sexual situations. Most of the people speaking up right now are female, due to the fact that women and girls are far more likely to be the victims of sexual violence. (90 percent of adult rape victims and 82 percent of juvenile victims are female, according to RAINN.)
But in case we needed a reminder that there is no “default” face for victims of harassment or assault, a somewhat surprising voice spoke up today about his own experiences: Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews.
Crews revealed the details of the incident on Twitter, recounting a story in which an unnamed “high level” Hollywood executive walked up to him at a party last year and grabbed his genitals.
Besides being shocking in its own right, Crews’ story is a reminder that the kind of helplessness predators engineer in their victims has nothing to do with physical strength; at 6'4" and 250 pounds, the former linebacker is one of the biggest guys working in Hollywood, and he was still left with no recourse but to simply walk away from the man who groped him. Crews, at least, got an apology the next day, which is more than most get when confronting their attackers. But he still was left with not just a traumatic incident, but also the sense that no one would listen to or believe him if he came forward with his experience. That attitude will hopefully begin to shift as more people come forward to talk about sexual assault, robbing attackers of the power that a culture of secrecy creates.