At 6:30 p.m. April 7, actor, artist and former football player Terry Crews will visit the IU Auditorium to discuss diversity, masculinity, hardship and hard work in the entertainment industry, on college campuses and in America.
Crews has appeared on TV and films in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “White Chicks.” He has also starred in a popular series of Old Spice commercials.
As a football player, he played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams.
Crews was named as one of the silence breakers in Time Magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year — The Silence Breakers — which honored women and men who came forward with stories of sexual harassment.
According to an IU Auditorium Press Release, Crews will address major concerns in regards to gender, race and more in America, while also seeking to entertain and motivate students to take action.
“With a combination of radical honesty, effortless charisma, and infectious enthusiasm, Crews inspires audiences to overcome fear and shame, be honest, do the work, and live life to its highest potential,” an IU Auditorium press release said.
Olivia Owens, co-director of lectures for Union Board, which has organized the event, said the theme of Crews’ talk corresponds well with the goals of the Union Board’s lecture series, which includes presenting a diverse array of speakers that can stimulate thoughtful discussion among the IU community.
“We looked at a bunch of themes that were really relevant to what’s going on in the student body right now,” Owens said. “The things that really stood out were a need for diversity, a need for entertainment, a simpler distraction, and the Me Too movement."
Owens said Crews' talk will be comedic, but will also address serious issues like diversity, hard work and Hollywood.
“Something that is a relevant issue in our culture is masculinity and the toxicity of masculinity, especially in fraternities,” said Patricia Cornejo, co-director of lectures at the Union Board.
Cornejo said they reached out to different fraternities who might be interested in the event, especially black fraternities.
“We want Terry Crews to talk to them, not specifically, but to cater his lecture toward them and give them advice on how to not let this culture of masculinity that we see currently in the United Stated affect them and how they can overcome it,” Cornejo said.
Owens said, per Crews' suggestion, the Union Board will hold a private meet and greet with student organizations represented, including the Student Athletic Board, and other organizations she said where masculinity could be potentially rigid in its conception of masculinity.
Owens said Crews thinks he is the perfect person to discuss with these organizations what masculinity is and why it can be toxic.
“He himself breaks a stereotype of even talking about this," Owens said. "You know, he’s a very tall, buff, action figure sort of guy and he’s talking about something that completely destroys those notions."