Bleats

Terry Crews Explains Why #MeToo Is Bigger Than Gender In His Powerful Testimony On Sexual Assault

Crews shared his own experience while testifying in favour of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.

CW: This article discusses sexual assault.

In the wake of last year’s Harvey Weinstein allegations and the launch of the #MeToo movement against the widespread culture of sexual harassment and assault, beloved American actor Terry Crews shared his own story of being a victim of sexual assault.

He alleged that former Hollywood executive Adam Venit groped him at a party in 2016.

Crews has been one of the most prominent male voices in Hollywood advocating for women’s rights in support of the #MeToo movement, and he was one of very few high-profile men who shared a story of victimisation that matched the experiences of the women.

Because Terry Crews is both male and famously, imposingly strong, it forced people to reassess what they know about #MeToo in order to understand – how could this happen to him?

Crews delivered the clear and compelling answer to that question in his testimony at the hearing on the Sexual Assault Survivors ‘Bill of Rights’.

When asked to explain why he couldn’t use self-defence to stop the assault, Terry Crews gave an important statement that highlights how race, as well as gender, can render someone powerless.

“Senator, as a black man in America you only have a few shots at success,” he begins. “You only have a few chances to make yourself a viable member of a community.

“I’m from Flint, Michigan. I have seen many many young black men who were provoked into violence, and they were in prison, or they were killed. And they’re not here.”

“My wife, for years, prepared me,” he continues. “She said, ‘if you ever get going, if you ever get prodded, if you ever have anyone try to push you into any kind of situation, don’t do it. Don’t be violent.’ And she trained me.

“I’ll be honest with you, it was the strength of my wife, who trained me, and told me, ‘if this situation happens, let’s leave.’ And the training worked, because I did not go into my first reaction, I grabbed her hand and we left.”

The reality is, racism denies most black people the opportunity to defend themselves without it being interpreted as confirmation of the stereotype that that they are “dangerous”.

In a culture of mass incarceration and often-fatal police violence, black people are made painfully aware that not fighting back is necessary for survival.

Terry Crews’ story of sexual assault highlights the different intersections of power and powerlessness at play in the rampant culture of sexual harassment and assault.

#MeToo is not merely an issue of gender – it’s about a broad abuse of power, and race is one of the most significant factors that can render someone vulnerable.

People are made powerless because they’re physically weaker. People are made powerless because they cannot afford to risk sacrificing their careers by speaking out or defending themselves. People are made powerless because they know they cannot play into stereotypes, because then they will be undermined by the perception they’re overreacting, ‘crying wolf’, or crazy.

That list goes on, and it unfortunately does broadly describe the experience of being a woman.

But it’s vital to acknowledge how intersecting oppressions like race, class, and sexual orientation can intensify these dynamics of powerlessness.

Terry Crews is an important reminder that #MeToo needs to go past gender and have an intersectional approach to the cultural abuse of power.

If any part of this story brings up issues for you regarding substance abuse, mental health, trauma, or anything else, please contact Lifeline on 131114 or call 1800 RESPECT. Both are free and available 24/7.

Riff Raff's Australian Tour Has Been Cancelled Following Sexual Assault Allegations

The tour has been axed entirely. The rapper had already flown into the country ahead of the first show in Cairns tonight.

CW: This story discusses allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Riff Raff’s Australian tour has been cancelled following allegations made online accusing the American rapper of sexual assault.

This follows a Facebook post made last night in which someone shared a detailed account alleging that she was raped by the rapper on his 2014 Australian tour.

The original post has been shared over 150 times at the time of writing.

The tour was set to begin tonight at Cairns’s Republic RnB club, who have announced the cancellation on their Facebook page

Brisbane’s TBC Club and Melbourne’s Corner Hotel also announced the cancellation of their respective Riff Raff shows, citing the allegations as the reason.

 

 

TBC Club’s Facebook announcement

Corner Hotel’s Facebook announcement

Riff Raff recently posted to his Instagram advertising a competition for fans to win a chance to come on the Australian tour with him, but specified that the competition would not be open to women because his “lawyer team” flagging “potential legal bullsh*t.”

Riff Raff also posted his own private text conversation discussing a his legal team’s decision to block female fans from the aforementioned competition.

In the text Riff Raff comments: “CAN WE GO BACK TO THE 80’S OR WHAT ! #MakeAmerica80sAgain”.

Screenshots of Riff Raff’s Instagram post

Both Instagram posts have since been deleted but have been screenshotted and shared on social media.

A representative from touring company Audiopaxx confirmed to GOAT that the tour has now been cancelled in its entirety, and a full statement is forthcoming.

UPDATE: Audiopaxx posted the following statement on their Facebook page, confirming the cancellation.

TOUR UPDATE: we have been made aware of allegations made against Houston rapper Riff Raff. Audiopaxx take these matters seriously and does not condone any of this alleged behaviour. In light of this, we have spoken to his management team and the scheduled tour of Australia and New Zealand has been cancelled, effective immediately.

If any part of this story brings up issues for you regarding substance abuse, mental health, trauma, or anything else, please contact Lifeline on 131114 or call 1800 RESPECT. Both are free and available 24/7.

Morgan Freeman Is The Latest Star To Be Accused Of Sexual Misconduct, Which Goes To Show You Can’t Even Trust God

Let this be a reminder that the problem #MeToo is addressing is not Bad Men who fit one kind of easy-to-pick Creep Profile, but a culture that lets all kinds of men abuse positions of power.

Eight women have come forward accusing Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment.

In the illuminating report published by CNN, Freeman has been accused of a consistent pattern of touching without consent and making inappropriate comments about women’s bodies.

This behaviour has allegedly taken place throughout his career on the sets of films, at his production company Revelations Entertainment, and at press junkets.

Eugh.

The accusations range from constant ogling and verbal harassment to incidents like that recounted to CNN by a woman who worked as a production assistant on Going in Style in 2015. She said that Freeman “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear”.

The woman added that eventually their co-star Alan Arkin “made a comment telling him to stop” and “Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say”, which goes to show the power of other men’s complicity in allowing this behaviour to continue.

Yep.

Another production assistant who worked on The Dark Knight claimed to witness Freeman’s inappropriate behaviour.

“Morgan did things in a way that an older, more established person can get away with because they have that power,” she told CNN. “They can’t be replaced, but you can be replaced very easily – that’s just kind of the dynamic on set.”

In a statement, Freeman said “anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologise to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected – that was never my intent”.

Ok.

In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Freeman, TMZ has reported that the Screen Actors Guild bosses are considering stripping him of the Life Achievement Award given to him in January this year.

Morgan Freeman receiving Life Time Achievement Award

While it can feel shocking when men with such wholesome reputations are added to the growing list of men in the entertainment industry to be accused of sexual misconduct, let this be a reminder that the #MeToo movement is not about a few Bad Men.

Yep.

Men like Harvey Weinstein might fit the bill for the stereotypical depiction of The Creep (I stand by that), but the problem we are facing is not that there are a few creepy men sprinkled about who can be easily identified. The problem is that we have a culture that enables all kinds of men to abuse their power.

Certified creep vibes.

Throughout his career Freeman has mostly played figures oozing sympathy, integrity, authority and gravitas – most famously in his role as God in Bruce Almighty. This is how his personal character is perceived, but his alleged misconduct shows that abuse of power is deeply normalised for men across the board.

In short, in case this hasn’t been made clear over the last year: even idolised men we’re convinced are ‘good’ can turn out to be part of the problem.

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