Terry Crews has taken his fight against sexual abuse to Capitol Hill.
The Expendables actor testified before a senate committee Tuesday, and said he turned down a role in the fourth installment of the franchise after the film’s producer demanded he drop an ongoing harassment lawsuit or face “trouble.”
Crews said an Expendables producer – who he did not name – contacted his manager, and said the actor would have to drop his civil suit against William Morris Endeavor agent Adam Venit if he wanted to appear in the film.
“If I didn’t, there would be trouble,” Crews said he was told.
A stunned Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the committee, replied, “Oh dear.”
Crews had roles in the previous three Expendables film.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said she hoped to see the actor in the next installment of the franchise and asked if he has a role in the movie.
“Uh No. Simply because this same producer is under his own sexual assault investigation,” Crews stated. “Abusers protect abusers, and this is one thing I had to decide, whether I was going to draw the line on. Am I going to be a part of this or am I gonna take a stand, and there are projects I had to turn down.”
When Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Crews, who is a former NFL linebacker, why he did not respond to his abuser physically, he said his race prevented him from using force.
“Senator, as a black man in America,” he stated before getting emotional and taking a long pause. Feinstein then encouraged him to “say it as it is.”
“You only have a few shots at success. You only have a few chances to make yourself a viable member of the community,” he said. “I’m from Flint, Michigan. I have seen many, many young black men who were provoked into violence and they were imprisoned or they were killed.”
Crews, who currently stars on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, first went public last year on social media to say he was groped by a Hollywood executive.
“My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates,” he tweeted on Oct. 10.
The actor later filed a civil suit against WME and Venit over the incident, according to published reports. Venit was temporarily suspended.
Crews has said he was inspired to come forward after hearing the stories of others who spoke out as part of the #MeToo movement.
His testimony was part of a hearing about the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.
“I am honored to use my platform and story to help create additional civil rights protections for survivors across the nation under the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights,” he said in his opening statement.