Skip to main content

After Amazon Ad Backlash, Terry Crews Offers Lengthy Explanation For His Decision

Terry Crews on Jimmy Kimmel Live
(Image credit: ABC)

Terry Crews has found himself involved in a few controversies in recent years. And with each issue, the actor has responded accordingly. Recently, he came under fire for his new collaboration with Amazon, which includes an ad that has since gone viral. Now, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine alum has addressed the controversy by explaining why he chose to partner with the company.

The advertisement in question was a way to promote the organization’s holiday hiring initiative. Shortly after Terry Crews uploaded it to TikTok, he received criticism for acting out the various jobs that occur at warehouses owned by the corporation. Some fans also critiqued him for championing Amazon in general, which is currently dealing with ongoing labor issues. The America’s Got Talent host recently took to Reddit to issue a formal statement and chose to cut right to the chase when addressing everything:

I understand there were a few people disappointed in my decision to act as a spokesman for the company’s seasonal hiring initiative. After much thought, I decided it was time to clarify my reasoning and add my perspective to the conversation.

The star seemed to understand viewers’ apparent discontent about his ad. He proceeded to drive home his decision by recalling his family’s Los Angeles journey after his NFL career ended. With this, he appeared to connect the obstacles that blue-collar workers face to the challenges he met when trying to find post-NFL jobs. The Expendables alum continued:

Well, full disclosure, I shop and eat at Whole Foods (owned by Amazon), wrote and performed an audiobook with my wife Rebecca for Audible (also owned by Amazon), subscribe to entertainment on Prime Video (owned by Amazon) and practiced social distancing before, during and after the pandemic by ordering and having delivered everything and anything via Amazon. To join in on the cacophony of vitriol heaped on the company while still contributing to its prosperity would be hypocritical at worst and disingenuous at best. When I was approached about this campaign, I couldn’t help but think about if Amazon was around in 1997 when we arrived in Los Angeles, it would have been perfect for me and my family in our time of need. I am also very careful about the companies I represent, which is why you will NEVER see me do ads or be a spokesman for gambling, beer or alcohol. My whole team can confirm that I have personally turned down millions of dollars to do so, not because drinking or gambling are illegal, because they’re not, but because I know the pain these issues have caused to my family and my community.

After explaining his personal relationship with Amazon, Terry Crews discussed the one particular criticism that he really takes issue with -- his attire in the ad. Many accused him of dressing up like a typical employee or in his words "cosplaying as a poor person." In response, Crews said:

I was not “cosplaying as a poor person”. I wore what I would wear everyday, which explains the expensive watch I wore during the shoot (which was a gift from Sly Stallone for a job well done in the Expendables series). I was not there to mock them, I was there to support them. I truly enjoyed meeting every worker and every employee I met treated me kindly and with respect… It definitely would have been right for me, had the opportunity presented itself in 1997, and it’s obviously right for the many thousands of people who are working there right now. Are there problems? Hell yes. Can Amazon improve its relationship with its workers? They apparently need to. But, there is no shame in good, honest work in a factory to provide for your loved ones, even if it's Amazon.

Whether or not the ad was a good idea could be debated, but Terry Crews’ response, at the very least, seems to be sincere. At this point, it's unclear as to whether the actor will be teaming up with Amazon again in the near future. But if he does, his comments would seem to imply that he'll be putting a lot of thought into any future advertisements.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).