In October of 2017, during the birth of the #MeToo movement, Terry Crews shared that he was sexually assaulted.
Despite his courage in sharing the story, some have instead tried to blame him for his own assault.
After DL Hughley's latest victim-blaming, Crews took to Twitter to confront him.
Terry Crews tweeted a link to a video in which DL Hughley says that Terry should have used strength and violence to prevent his sexual assault.
"You told the world 'God Gave Me Muscles So I Could Say No...'" Crews writes.
That line implies that Crews' assault was his own choice.
"Are you implying I 'wanted' to be sexually assaulted?" Crews asks. "I’m listening, sir..."
He's willing to give Hughley a chance to walk back his words, but Hughley isn't interested.
Hughley replies: "You saw the video!"
"I have looked up to you my whole career as one of the funniest most talented people I’ve ever seen," Crews confesses.
"I remember when I saw you warming up the crowd at FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR," he recalls. "And I thought 'this man is a genius.'"
"But now," Crews laments. "You are an example of when comedy turns to sarcasm and cynicism."
Crews accuses: "And you find it extremely easy to get jokes at someone else expense."
Unfortunately, there are a number of male comedians whom none of us view in the same way that we did many years ago.
"You mock my success, but all I ever did was support you," Crews says.
"You @50cent @unclerush and @tariqnasheed have decided my sexual assault was hilarious," he accuses.
In the summer of 2018, 50 Cent said that Crews' assault was his own fault. A horrible thing to say to anyone, and also never true.
"Whereas," Crews points out. "There are a whole generation of black women and men who don’t think it’s funny."
"ABUSERS PROTECT ABUSERS but they MOCK SURVIVORS as well," Crews writes.
Notably, Russell Simmons on that list has very famously and chillingly been accused of sexual assault.
"When you see me," Terry warns those who mock him. "Keep it moving."
"Sir," Crews wrote in another tweet. "You said I should have pushed him back, or restrained him."
There are a lot of armchair quarterbacks when people share their stories of sexual assault. It's a form of victim-blaming.
"And," Crews argues. "I DID ALL THOSE THINGS..."
"But you act like I didn’t," Crews accuses. "Were you there?"
Hughley fires back: "That’s different than slapping the s--t outa him."
Realistically, had Crews followed Hughley's retroactive advice, he would have been carted out in handcuffs.
Sexual assault and the rape culture that enables it persist, but there are two other factors in Terry Crews' case.
The first is toxic masculinity, where many men seem to believe that they can solve their problems with violence.
There are embedded cultural notions that it's natural for men to fight, and that there's something wrong with a man who does not.
(Even when the violence could land the man in prison)
A number of black activists have pointed out that toxic masculinity can be even more of a problem for some black men.
That's out of my lane, but worth mentioning in this very serious discussion.
The other is racism and double-standards.
Let us imagine for a moment that Terry Crews had unleashed his physical might upon this man to defend himself.
He would have been arrested and very likely disgraced in the media.
In one move, he would have reinforced negative stereotypes of black men -- being portrayed as violent and even as homophobic.
(Obviously, Terry Crews is neither)
That wouldn't have done any good for him or for his family.
As it is, he's facing enough terrible consequences simply for speaking out.
Terry Crews dropped out of the The Expendables franchise due to pressure from the producer.
The Expendables is produced by Millennium Films, and it was producer Avi Lerner whom Crews says issued the threat.
It was an attempt to intimidate Crews into dropping his complaint.
Avi Lerner is, notably, the man who is producing the new Red Sonja film.
He has vocally defended Bryan Singer after yet another round of accusations that Singer is a sexual predator.
Avi is helping to blacklist one man who shared his #MeToo story, but happily employing a man accused of being a life-ruining monster.
That's ... quite a choice.
It is worth mentioning that this stance from DL Hughley is unfortunately no surprise to many people.
As the conflict between Crews and Hughley took off on Twitter, many people brought up Hughley's own past.
Hughley had an affair early in his career, and the affair resulted in a child.
Hughley spoke about how the child's death -- murdered at the hands of his mistress' boyfriend -- brought him closer to his wife.
That comment on his part has rubbed many people the wrong way, for obvious reasons.
When it comes to the men who are victim-blaming Terry Crews, it's a familiar story for others who have been groped or otherwise assaulted.
At the end of the day, victim-blaming is about trying to assure yourself that it would never happen to you.
Lots of people tell themselves that they would fight back.
Many men, particularly those who have been assaulted by women, know that they would be in prison.
Many women know that fighting back could make it worse or get them killed.
The only person who should be blamed for a sexual assault is the one doing it -- and those who help them to get away with it.