I had the honor of interviewing Rebecca Crews this past summer ahead of her appearance on “Black Love” and what struck me the most about her was her no-nonsense attitude and her ability to hold her spouse accountable when necessary. I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion, and my biggest takeaway from our 30-minute conversation was that when you truly love someone, you’re okay with having uncomfortable conversations. You’re okay with telling hard truths, dishing out tough love if it will make your partner a better person. One can only hope that she is serving up that same tough love after Terry Crews chose to use her as a human shield while he threw another Black woman under the bus.
As we’ve previously reported, when asked about his thoughts on reports that former “America’s Got Talent” co-host Gabrielle Union’s contract was not renewed because she spoke out against racism, sexism, and a toxic work environment, Terry told hosts of TODAY that he had never experienced racism on set and while his comment could have honestly stopped there, he went on to discount Gabrielle’s experience by stating that “it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.”
Naturally, his comments prompted an onslaught of backlash, including some not-so-subliminal messages from Gabrielle herself. In short, Union attributed her silence on the matter to the fact that all parties agreed not to speak publicly until NBC completed their investigation and went on to question Terry’s claims about diversity.
“Can someone please ask abt what happens to all that diversity folks are talking about BEHIND THE SCENES. Like, legit… where the hell is all that diversity in the production though homie? In the decision making ranks who control the fate of the diversity in front of the camera?” Union tweeted. “Maaaaaan… We all agreed to let the investigation be completed before speaking but if we doing this… ohhhhh baby let’s gooooooooooo!”
In response to the backlash and clearly to Gabrielle’s comments, Terry chose to dig in his heels and he used his wife Rebecca to do so. To justify his previous comments, Crews argued that the only woman he’s tasked with making happy is his wife.
The obvious point that Terry missed is that no one is asking him to please Gabrielle or anyone else for that matter. They’re asking that he show some type of solidarity and basic human decency for a fellow Black person and former colleague. No one expected him to roll out, guns blazing in defense of Gabrielle. We recognize that he is still an employee of the talent show and that he has bills to pay and a family to provide for just like the rest of us do. However, he did not have to negate Gabrielle’s experiences by glorifying AGT for its amazing diversity. Further, to hide behind the argument that he is only responsible for pleasing his wife and therefore owes no other Black woman support or solidarity is a poorly thought out diversion tactic and is revelatory of a highly problematic mindset.
Perhaps Terry really doesn’t see the issue with his comments. Maybe he doesn’t understand that Black women have a hard enough way to go as it is when it comes to injustice in the workplace and that by discrediting one of us, he is adding more weight to an already heavy load for all of us because our society already has a problem with listening to and believing Black women.
I’m a firm believer that wives should not be expected to carry the load of decisions that their husbands go out into the world and make; however, the fact that Terry brought Rebecca into it, he has now made her a part of the discussion. One can only hope that in their quiet time behind closed doors, she is gently nudging him to a place of understanding how his recent conduct is hurtful to Black women everywhere.