The star of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was thrust into the discussion after initially tweeting about former President Barack Obama’s message to Black boys.
“If you are really confident about your financial situation, you are probably not going to be wearing a eight-pound chain around your neck,” Obama said to a crowd of boys in Oakland, California, Feb. 19. “Because, ‘Oh, I got a bank account.’ I don’t have to show you how much I got. I feel good.”
Crews weighed in on the matter after Derecka Purnell, a woman, wrote an op-ed on the speech for The New York Times.
“Another thing that bothers me is that this OP-ED was written by a WOMAN about how boys should be taught to grow into successful young men,” he tweeted Feb. 24. “How would she know? MEN NEED TO HOLD OTHER MEN ACCOUNTABLE.”
He followed up by saying, “I REPEAT: Women can speak with us. Just not FOR US,” when a Twitter user said it was “counter productive” to kick women out of the conversation.
But that wasn’t the end of the controversy surrounding Crews, and he wound up facing worse backlash by the time March rolled around.
Speaking about children needing men in their lives, Crews on March 1 tweeted a video of his time guest hosting “The View” four years ago. On the talk show, he discussed the importance of fatherhood.
“There are things that you need from your father,” he said. “Your father starts out he gives you your name, he tells you who you are… He gives you your inheritance and that doesn’t mean money. You inherit his story. … Your father gives you … your security. … I’m talking about your confidence. Because when your father tells you, you can do something, you believe that you can do it.”
In response to the clip, a Twitter user named Rach said, “you can’t expect to educate people if you don’t listen to others when they try to educate you.” It resulted in a back-and-forth with Crews where he defended his stance.
Then, he tweeted a remark that caused such backlash he was forced to apologize and delete it.
“But they will be severely malnourished,” the actor said responding to Rach’s comment that “love is not gendered. A child will not starve with only one gender loving them.”
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation board director Linda Riley was one of many who admonished Crews for his stance.
“how the F— did terry crews went from speaking up about feminism and gender roles and male sexual assault to saying that kids raised w/o a dad grow up to be ‘severely malnourished’???? what kinda demon possessed him, how can he not realise how toxic this mindset is??”
“terry crews said children of single mother’s or lesbian couples will be severely malnourished because they don’t have the love of a father??? and didn’t see how gross and damaging that sounded???”
“Dear @terrycrews – My 12 year old twins are not ‘severely malnourished’ Please stop encouraging the bullying of children of #LGBTQ parents. #AmericasgotTalent Take note,” Riley said.
Riley’s tweet led Crews to apologize directly to her after he posted a general apology for how he worded his post.
“I agree. It was the wrong choice of words in response to another tweet. I apologize. The tweet was deleted,” he told the GLAAD head after saying sorry “to anyone who was hurt by my ‘severely malnourished’ tweet.”