Terry Crews is through playing games.
The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and former professional NFL player took to Twitter yesterday to call out music mogul Russell Simmons. Crews posted an email Simmons allegedly sent him, urging him to drop his recent sexual assault charges against high-powered Hollywood agent Adam Venit. (Crews claims that Venit, a high-powered Hollywood agent who represents top clients such as Emma Stone, Adam Sandler, and Eddie Murphy, made a series of lewd gestures and then physically groped him at a party last year.)
According to the screenshot, Simmons's email said the following:
"Did he ever apologize Give the agent a pass ask that he be reinstated
With great love, all things are possible"
To which Crews issued this remarkable response:
NO ONE GETS A PASS
Crews' reply is not only brilliant--it's an excellent demonstration of emotional intelligence, the ability to make emotions work for you and not against you.
Why Crews's Response Is Remarkable
As recent events have shown us, the plague of sexual harassment and assault is prolific. Unfortunately, powerful emotions like fear and anxiety often keep individuals from speaking out.
As Crews explained in a recent interview with ABC's Good Morning America:
"This guy [Venit]...looked at me at the end, as if [to say]: Who's going to believe you?
I understood why women everywhere...won't come forward. A lot of times, people go, well why didn't you come forward sooner? But this is the thing: When a person of power breaks that boundary...you're a prisoner of war. Immediately, you're in a camp. Because you're trying to figure out, when is the right time to come out? When the guard turns their head? When they leave a door open? You're digging tunnels with spoons. You're trying to find a way out--and you get out, and then you finally find freedom and somebody says: Well it must not be that bad. You should have came out sooner."
Crews' account describes what has become known as "the dark side" of emotional intelligence: the ability to use one's knowledge of emotions and behavior to manipulate others or serve some unethical purpose.
The email Simmons purportedly sent Crews is more evidence of the dark side. By asking Crews to "give the agent a pass," it sends the message that a weak apology is sufficient to alleviate any severe emotional pain and suffering experienced by the victim. It also implies that excusing this type of behavior is somehow taking the high road, but that couldn't be further from the truth. (That message has since become complicated by new and disturbing allegations against Simmons himself.)
But Crews teaches a valuable lesson:
The best way to combat those who attempt to use the power of emotion to manipulate is to sharpen your own emotional intelligence.
When you understand not only how emotions work, but how they can be used against you, it's possible to develop strategies to protect yourself, to fight back. With his powerful five-word Twitter response, Crews shows us that the actions of such attackers are not acceptable.
They will not be excused. They will not be swept under a rug. No one gets a pass.
As Crews himself put it:
"People need to be held accountable...I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong."
No, you didn't, Mr. Crews. In fact, you got it exactly right.