Terry Crews widely criticized (again) for #blacklivesbetter tweet

Terry Crews at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Terry Crews was criticized Tuesday on social media after tweeting about the Black Lives Matter movement.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Twitter has no mercy, and if it did, it’s unlikely much would be granted to Terry Crews.

“If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology,” the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor tweeted early Tuesday. “We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.”

That triggered a trend-setting response similar to the one Crews got earlier this month after using the phrase “Black Supremacy” in a tweet that added, “Like it or not, we’re all in this together.”


In replies on Tuesday, the “America’s Got Talent” TV host was called racist names and labeled “an enemy of the people,” told to “read the room” and accused of actually being the rich, white-loving pro athlete he portrayed in the Wayans brothers’ 2004 comedy “White Chicks.”

Crews also got constructive feedback from people including Bernice King, the youngest daughter of civil-rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Actress Holly Robinson Peete and comic Amanda Seales were among those criticizing Crews.

“Terry, we trying to ‘matter’ and get to ‘equal’ and you are worried about better??” Peete replied, tagging her message with “stop” and “shh” emojis.

She also tweeted about having a sleepless night thinking about Elijah McClain, a Black man who died last year after being put in a chokehold by police. “I woke up worrying about how to prevent my sweet special son from meeting a similar fate and you woke up worried about *checks tweet again*... #blacklivesBETTER ??,” Peete wrote in reference to Crews’ tweet.


Seales was more critical of the NFL player-turned-entertainer, saying, “This is unintellectual and irresponsible. You are developing into an enemy of the people. Ignorance will be your downfall.”

Bernice King addressed Crews with a broader explanation.

“We’re so far from that bridge, Terry. #BlackLivesMatter is, in part, a rallying cry and a protest slogan to galvanize people into doing the justice work needed to derail the deaths, dehumanization and destruction of Black lives that racism causes,” she tweeted. “Justice is not a competition.”

“For Life” actor Felonious Munk urged Crews to “deal with the present” before worrying about a hypothetical situation.

“[C]an we climb the mountain that it will take to make Black lives actually matter before you start worrying about a slippery slope on the other side of it?,” he wrote in one tweet, then continued in another, “[I]nstead of being concerned with a hypoghettical concern about a future that may never exist, can we deal with the present and centuries of past oppression?”


Activist April Reign, who started the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, was also incensed by Crews’ tweet.

“I’m a bit mad at myself for being even more disappointed at Terry Crews today. I thought that we had hit rock bottom,” she wrote. “I didn’t realize I had any energy left for him, and that makes me mad.”

Meanwhile, writer Kellee Nicole Terrell simply wrote Crews off.

“You truly are worthless to us,” she wrote. “White people can have you, especially since you love doing their work for them.”


Representatives for Crews did not respond immediately to The Times’ request for comment.

Previously, the actor stood by his opinion, replying to a Twitter user, “I’ve learned that people will take anything you say and twist it for their own evil. Anything.”