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‘You Can Be Angry and Sin Not’: Terry Crews Talks to Trevor Noah About Overcoming His Anger, Racial Reconciliation

Terry Crews
Screengrab from YouTube.

Actor Terry Crews was a recent guest on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” wherein he discussed his personal journey with unhealthy anger and how that journey has affected the way he now approaches situations where he has been wronged, whether personally or as part of a broader trend of injustice in society.

As a devout Christian, Crews peppered the discussion with biblical references.

Crews’ interview with Trevor Noah centered on the release of Crews’ new book “Tough: My Journey to True Power.” In the memoir, Crews recounts growing up in a troubled household, wherein his father regularly physically abused his mother.

“I had to redefine what tough was,” Crews told Noah. Crews went on to explain that his goal as a young man was to become as strong as possible, because he felt one day that he would have to kill his father.

One Christmas, when Crews, along with his wife and children, were visiting his parents, his father hit his mother to the point where she needed dental attention. In response, Crews met with his father alone and physically assaulted him. 

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“I beat him from downstairs all the way up to his room. He’s bleeding. He’s screaming,” Crews remembered. “And all I could think about was, ‘This is revenge. This is what I always wanted. This is what you made us go through.’”

Explaining that the revenge he always wanted didn’t satisfy him the way he anticipated, Crews said, “I felt nothing.” In fact, the encounter left him feeling emptier than before.

Crews went on to express that it was difficult for him to come to terms with his anger issues, because anger was bound up in his notion of what it means to be a man. Recounting an incident where he got into a physical altercation with a man who disrespected his wife, Crews recalled feeling, “This is what I’m supposed to do. This is what I’m put on earth to do.”

Crews and his wife temporarily separated in 2010 due to his pornography addiction and anger issues. 

“And this is the thing. I was very successful,” Crews said, recalling that he was a popular actor by this point in his career. “And my trick to life was ‘fake it till you make it.’ But the problem is you make it, and you’re fake.”

It was then that Crews started going to therapy, where he learned how to deal with his anger in a healthy way. 

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“You can be angry and sin not,” Crews said. “It’s a biblical phrase. And the whole thing was, righteous anger is a good thing.”