Back in November of last year, Terry Crews came forward and alleged that Hollywood agent Adam Venit had sexually assaulted him at a party. Venit took a leave of absence when the allegations were made public, but was able to go back to work after a month of suspension, which prompted Crews to say that he got a "pass." Now, Crews has revealed that he was asked to withdraw his sexual assault lawsuit by The Expendables 4 producer Avi Lerner, who said that there would be vague "troubles" if he did not comply.
Avi Lerner's words were taken as a threat by Terry Crews, who says that he will not appear in the upcoming Expendables 4 as a result. Making things worse, Adam Venit still represents Expendables star Sylvester Stallone, which would be a huge hurdle for Crews to overcome, with or without vague threats from Lerner. In testimony earlier this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Crews said that the producer called his manager and asked the actor to drop his case against Venit in order to appear in the upcoming action film. When asked if Crews already had a role in Expendables 4, he replied.
"No. Simply because this same producer is under his own... investigation. 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."
Expendables 4 producer Avi Lerner is currently being sued for sexual misconduct, hostile work environment, and sexual discrimination by a woman. Lerner has denied all of the allegations and considers them to be "lies" and a "joke." However, Terry Crews believes the aforementioned allegations and thinks that it's a further symptom of the problems in Hollywood that have come to light over the last several months. The actor states that the predatory behavior in the entertainment industry had become normalized. He explains.
"Hollywood definitely has been a problem area, simply because so many people view this as a dream. And what happens is, someone has power over these dreams. And what happens also is that you get tricked into thinking that this type of behavior is expected, that it's part of the job, that this harassment, abuse, even rape is part of your job description."
Terry Crews is 6' 3" and weighs 245 pounds, which is part of the reason he did not come forward when the incident occurred. He feared that he would have been laughed at and that nobody would have even believed him. But, the #MeToo and Time's Up movements gave him the confidence to come forward. He had this to say when asked why he didn't initially come forward.
"I probably would have been laughed out of the police station. A year later, once the #MeToo movement took full swing, it was safe to come out. When you are victimized, you are now behind enemy lines and you are trying to find a way out... You're trying to find your way to safety. No one around is going to help you. No one is going to believe you."
Expendables 4 will continue without Terry Crews, but there could be some collateral damage from these allegations against Adam Venit and Avi Lerner. Now that this is all public news, some actors that are being approached for roles may think twice about signing up to work with two men who have been accused of sexual misconduct. Crews will continue to be an advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry and he will not go quietly, which could be a big problem for the production of Expendables 4. You can read more about what Terry Crews had to say on the matter at Deadline.