ABOVE: Watch Terry Crews on Global Toronto’s The Morning Show.
TORONTO — Actor Terry Crews said Friday a lot of men share an addiction that affects the way they live — but they’re reluctant to talk about it.
The star of The Expendables and Brooklyn Nine-Nine said he believes it’s important to speak candidly about the problem.
“For years I was addicted to pornography,” said Crews during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show. “It was one thing that changed the way I saw people. This is an addiction as big as cocaine or alcohol or anything like that.”
The 46-year-old former NFL player said his addiction was so serious that he sought treatment for it.
“Once I understood how this was wrecking everything in my life, it changed everything. It was like the sun came out.”
Crews said he’s happy to talk openly about his own experience because he believes it will inspire other men.
“Pornography, you don’t talk about it. It’s all about being cool,” he explained. “Me saying it just breaks the ice. Men can go, ‘I’ve got that problem, too.'”
Crews, already familiar for his Old Spice commercials and for starring on the comedy series Everybody Hates Chris, currently stars on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and hosts the latest incarnation of the syndicated game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
He is keynote speaker on Saturday at What Makes a Man: The White Ribbon Conference in Toronto. Crews was invited after writing Manhood: How to be a Better Man — or Just Live With One, a memoir in which he chronicles his journey to become a good husband and father.
“A true man takes responsibility for everything in his life — good and bad. There was a big time in my life where I was much less than a man because I was always blaming people, I was always putting other things on everyone else,” he recalled.
“I was a victim. I was like a professional victim. You’re basically a big kid, you know, a boy. The moment I grew up was the moment I realized I was responsible for how I behave, for how I treated everyone in my family, for my life good and bad. It was a real watershed moment for me.”
Crews said many men don’t know what it means to be a man.
“As a man, you learn that you are more valuable than a woman, which is so dangerous it affects everything in your life,” he said.
“For years I was a fool. I’m ashamed. I am very, very ashamed of the way I behaved during those times.”