Terry Crews found himself urging against “groupthink” on Monday after a tweet of his that used the phrase “Black Supremacy” sparked a trendsetting backlash on social media.
“Defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black Supremacy. Equality is the truth,” the ‘America’s Got Talent’ host tweeted on 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.
While he provided explanations about what he’d posted, he did not apologise, 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.
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.”
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.”
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 behaviour 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.”
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.”