Terry Crews: ‘It’s a Very Fine Line Between Culture and Cult’
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because some things need context and explanation.
By Joshua Eferighe
Hearing the words “Black Lives Matter” come out of the mouth of Terry Crews may come as a bit of a shock if you’ve been following the recent social media frenzy attached to his name and have never had a sit-down conversation with the movie star and America’s Got Talent host. Crews has never been shy about making social and political statements. And his statements have drawn a lot of blowback from the Black community.
But as Crews tells OZY co-founder Carlos Watson on the latest episode of The Carlos Watson Show, a new late-night-style talk show: “First of all, Black lives do matter. The murder of young Black men is a travesty in this country, by the police. And listen, systemic racism exists.”
Crews has found himself caught up in an online contretemps during the George Floyd protests, stemming from tweets like this one:
The tweets were followed by a CNN interview with Don Lemon in which Crews said there are militant forces within Black Lives Matter and that the rhetoric surrounding the movement is “dangerous.”
It’s all led celebrities like Chance the Rapper to distance themselves from Crews, and comedian and actor Amanda Seales to declare Crews is “developing into an enemy of the people” and call him a “coon.” For all intents and purposes, Crews has been “canceled.” (Meanwhile, Crews has been celebrated by conservatives.)
But as Crews explains to Watson, his comments don’t apply to the majority of protesters. “I’m addressing a very, very small amount of people who are super militant, who are saying very, very violent things,” he says. “I apologize for it being too soon. But I do not apologize for actually bringing it up. We, as Black people, have to be able to have these conversations because it’s very, very dangerous when you can’t speak.”
As for the critics who call him names for raising the question, Crews says, “It’s a very fine line between culture and cult.”