The Harvey Weinstein scandal has opened up a dialogue of epic proportions surrounding issues of sexual assault and harassment, with numerous women in Hollywood speaking up to tell their stories. They’ve been joined by a small chorus of men who shared that they, too, had been victims of sexual assault and harassment, perpetrated by men of power in the industry.
The discussion began with Terry Crews, when the actor and former NFL star took to Twitter to share how the Weinstein news was giving him PTSD. Why? “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,” Crews explained in a series of tweets.
He went on to describe how he jumped and asked the exec what he was doing, while the exec just smiled at him. And while Crews wanted to hit him, he refrained, knowing he’d be thrown in jail. “He called me the next day with an apology but never explained why he did what he did,” Crews tweeted, adding, “I decided not 2 take it further becuz I didn’t want 2b ostracized— par 4 the course when the predator has power n influence.” He also said he understood why women “let it go.”
Crews’s admission was followed by actor James Van Der Beek, who also shared his story on Twitter. After commending the women who were coming forward to share their stories, he tweeted, “I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger … I understand the shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.”
Actors Michael Gaston and Rob Schneider also talked about their experiences with sexual assault. Gaston tweeted about how, while in rehearsal for a new play, a “powerful man in theater grabbed me by the groin one day in rehearsal,” adding, “I was terrified. And I was humiliated. I had violent fantasies about the man for years.”
Schneider told TMZ he was harassed early on in his career by a famous director when they were in a hotel room together. “He comes out in a bathrobe and sits in this chair. The next thing I know, he’s asking me to crawl on the ground and to crawl to him. Then it was just this disgusting feeling,” he said. The director in question, whom Schneider didn’t name, has since died.
Actor Todd Bridges talked about being assaulted by his publicist when he was just 11 years old. In the documentary movie An Open Secret, detailing rampant issues of pedophilia in Hollywood, Bridges talked about asking to be written out of an episode of Diff’rent Strokes that dealt with the issue “because I had myself gone through that, and watching it happen on the show it was like reliving that all over again.”