By Jeremy Fuster, The Wrap
Posted July 3rd 2018
Terry Crews testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee about sexual abuse and revealed during his testimony that he will not appear in “The Expendables 4” due to a dispute with producer Avi Lerner over his ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit against William Morris Endeavor agent Adam Venit.
During the hearing, Crews said that Lerner called his manager and said that Crews would have to drop the lawsuit in order to have a role in the film. When asked by the committee if he agreed, Crews said he would have no role in the upcoming sequel and noted that Lerner and his production company, Millennium Films, are under their own investigation after a former female employee filed a lawsuit claiming the company fostered a “misogynistic work environment.”
“Abusers protect abusers — and this is one thing I had to decide, whether I was going to draw the line on,” Crews said. “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.”
Crews has filed a civil suit against WME and Venit related to an alleged incident in 2016, when Crews claims Venit groped him at a Hollywood party.
Venit was suspended by WME for 30 days while an investigation was held, but the agency ruled that while he would be demoted from his position as head of the Motion Picture Department, he would be allowed to stay on as an agent. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office also declined to prosecute Venit, saying that the incident fell outside the statute of limitations.
The Senate Committee Crews testified at was held to review the implementation of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, which was installed two years ago and adds new rights for sexual abuse victims in federal law.
Crews said he didn’t feel safe to speak out about his abuse until the rise of the #MeToo movement last fall and that he thought he would be “laughed out of the police station” if he reported it.
“What happened to me has happened to many many other men in Hollywood, and since I came forward with my story I have had thousands and thousands of men come to me and say ‘Me too, this is my story. But I did not have the confidence, or I did not feel safe enough, to come out,’” Crews said. “Because what happens is you get blacklisted, your career is in danger — after that, no one wants to work with you.”
Representatives for Lerner did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Watch Crews’ testimony in the C-SPAN clip below.