Terry Crews found himself urging against “groupthink” Monday after a tweet of his that used the phrase “Black Supremacy” sparked a trend-setting backlash on social media.
“Defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black Supremacy. Equality is the truth,” the “America’s Got Talent” host tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Like it or not, we are all in this together.”
A couple of hours later, “Black Supremacy” was trending big time on Twitter, and Crews took time to respond to two of the many thousands of people reacting to his words.
hey great job dude, way to go pic.twitter.com/EsRUpnUAeu— Eliot (@EliotETC) June 8, 2020
While he provided explanations about what he’d posted, he did not apologize, despite call-outs from the likes of director Matthew A. Cherry, journalist Jemele Hill and actor Orlando Jones, among thousands of others.
“Black supremacy?” Jones said. “We represent 13% of US population, hold no institutional power & gaslight our coworkers. We got 99 problems and your math isn’t the only 1. #StrongerTogether.”
After comedian Godfrey stated that black supremacy didn’t exist except among “Racist whites,” Crews agreed. Then the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor said he wasn’t talking about white people in his original tweet but rather those he called “gatekeepers of Blackness” within the black community, noting that he’d been called out in the past as not being black enough.
I agree. I'm not discussing white people here. there are "gatekeepers of Blackness" within our own community who decide who's Black and who's not. I have often been called out for not being "black enough". How can that be? https://t.co/Tt9Og866x6— terry crews (@terrycrews) June 8, 2020
To another Twitter user who said he couldn’t use his platform to say something like that, Crews replied, “I’ve learned that people will take anything you say and twist it for their own evil. Anything.”
Kevin, I've learned that people will take anything you say and twist it for their own evil. Anything. https://t.co/FszLI1pYbu— terry crews (@terrycrews) June 8, 2020
On Monday morning, Crews further explained what motivated his words, which he said came “from a spirit of love and reconciliation” for the black community and the world.
“I believe it is important that we not suffer from groupthink, and we keep minds of our own, and be allowed to ask difficult questions to each other,” he added. “I believe this dialogue is important as we get through this trauma together. I love you. “
Please know that everything I've said comes from a spirit of love and reconciliation, for the Black community first, then the world as a whole, in hopes to see a better future for Black people.— terry crews (@terrycrews) June 8, 2020
Crews courted controversy earlier this year when he didn’t back fired “America’s Got Talent” judge Gabrielle Union after she alleged late last year that racist and sexist behavior had occurred on set.
“I can’t speak for sexism because I am not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments,” the host said on the “Today” show in January. “That was never my experience on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment. The top 10 acts were Asian, women, older, younger, black, white. It was everything in the gamut.” Advertisement
An external investigation by NBC, which also airs “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” found no truth to Union’s allegations that she was fired for speaking up about alleged racism and sexism. Last week, the actress filed an employment discrimination suit against the network, alleging in part that Paul Telegdy, chairman of NBC Entertainment, had threatened her when she spoke up about the show’s “toxic environment.”
With that drama fading a bit in his rear-view mirror, Crews posted a lengthy video statement on Instagram a few days after George Floyd’s death in which he noted that he looks like Floyd and repeatedly said it could have been him in that deadly situation with police.
“Easily, all of this could be me. I’ve come close,” he said. Advertisement
Crews has also posted video noting that white people who committed vandalism during recent Black Lives Matter protests were “not helping ANYONE.”