Terry Crews must find joy in being wrong
His TikTok endorsement of Amazon proves he’s a glutton for embarrassment.
Terry Crews must be a glutton for embarrassment. After his recent smiling TikTok endorsement of Amazon’s fulfillment centers, it’s clear that the actor must get joy out of being on the wrong side of everything.
Earlier today, Crews took to his TikTok account to answer a question that no one but Amazon asked him to answer: “Why work at Amazon?” He lifts a few boxes and flexes his chest muscles to promote Amazon’s flexible schedules, asks a worker what he should major in since Amazon pays for tuition, and shows he may be the only person in the world overjoyed to visit an Amazon warehouse. On his tour of the facilities, he must’ve missed the workers urinating in bottles because of grueling schedules and the pregnant workers lifting boxes against their doctors’ orders. But, if there’s anyone who could smile through shit and smell roses, it’s a man with a history of happily being wrong like Terry Crews.
A year before he was twerking through Amazon fulfillment centers, Crews — known for his appearance in Old Spice commercials and roles in films and TV shows like Everybody Hates Chris and White Chicks — had a month on Twitter that should’ve gotten his account deactivated. On June 7, 2020, Crews decided to try his hand on a bit of critical race theory by claiming that Black people fighting white supremacy without the inclusion of white people runs the risk of becoming “Black supremacy.” In a country where Black families’ median and mean wealth is less than 15 percent that of white families and white police officers can kill Black people with impunity, Crews thought the equality Black people should fight for is making sure white people help in taking down white supremacy. After comedian Godfrey explained to him that “Black pride isn’t anti-white,” Crews hypocritically agreed with him and then doubled down on his original Black supremacy idea by pointing to the “gatekeepers of Blackness” who have claimed he wasn’t “Black enough.”
Didn’t take much longer for him to prove exactly why some Black people may have felt that way. Three weeks after warning the world of the potential perils of “Black supremacy,” he wanted to make sure the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t turn into a “Black Lives Better” movement. After Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter, Bernice King, had to educate him on how “justice is not a competition,” he clarified. He was just trying to make sure it stayed that way, and that Black Lives Matter didn’t sully American justice. The only reason Crews believes in these distorted views of equality is because of his personal experience of having a “family of every race, creed, and ideology,” as he originally tweeted. He’s judging the experience of others through the limited view of his own experiences.
After reports surfaced of America’s Got Talent host Gabrielle Union’s contract not being renewed amidst racist jokes and a toxic culture, her outspoken coworker Crews decided to use his experience to invalidate Union’s. On the Today show, Crews spoke about how amazing it is to work at America’s Got Talent, how he never heard any racism on set and made it clear he could speak on “any racist comments” on the show. It took Crews over a week of backlash to come to his senses and apologize for generalizing the Black experience on America’s Got Talent under his own view. He apologized again during the promotion of the new season of AGT. It made no difference to Union, who called out Crews on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast for not disappointing her, but for perpetuating the worst qualities of himself we’ve all seen in the past.
“Based on his recent actions, do you really think Terry Crews was an ally, was helpful, was a sounding board?” Union asked. “I think Terry Crews is showing us who he is and what he does during times of adversity and it’s not solidarity.”
It’s the consistency of Crews putting his foot in his mouth that leads me to believe he enjoys the taste a bit too much. So, when you see him treating Amazon warehouses with terrible worker history like Disneyland, or cautioning against “Black supremacy” resulting from Black Lives Matter protesters risking their lives in pursuit of justice for the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, just know he’s being his authentic self. And it’s terrible.