Actor Terry Crews won’t appear in The Expendables 4 for a shocking reason.
While testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday (June 26) he made the shocking revelation that he won’t appear in the ensemble adventure film after being threatened by the movie’s producer, Avi Lerner, with retaliation for speaking out about a sexual assault by Hollywood agent Adam Venit.
“The producer of that film called my manager and asked him to drop my case in order for me to be in the fourth installment of the movie — and, if I didn’t, there’d be trouble,” Crews said. For those unfamiliar, last year Crews accused Venit, the former head of the motion picture department at the William Morris Agency, of groping him twice at a party he attended with his wife in 2016.
When asked if he would appear in The Expendables 4, Crews declined, citing his decision as a means of taking a stand against a system that seeks to silence victims of sexual assault and protect abusers.
“No. Simply because this same producer is under his own…investigation,” said Crews. “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.”
Lerner was sued by a former employee in May 2017 who accused the producer of creating a hostile environment to women who worked there.
As one of the prominent male voices in the #MeToo movement, Terry Crews’ experience could spur change to rectify the code of silence surrounding male victims of sexual assault in Hollywood, as well as conversations surrounding fragile and toxic masculinity.