Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Terry Crews, of Brooklyn Nine-Nine fame, found himself in hot water towards the end of last week for getting carried away with a Twitter war that climaxed in him referring to the children of single parents and same-sex parents as “severely malnourished”.

The comments came after Derecka Purnell’s opinion piece online which criticised a talk by Barack Obama, where the most controversial thing said was that young black men who wear heavy chains around their necks may be “financially insecure”.

Crews hit back at Purnell to say that if anyone should be allowed to “advise the black male youth of the next generation”, it should be Obama. Problematically, he then went on to suggest that as a woman, she wouldn’t know how to raise a boy into a successful young man – that’s a job only another man can achieve.

He also capitalised his opinion that a woman may be allowed to speak with men, but never for men, ignoring the obvious irony that men have been (and largely still are) speaking for women in most positions of power, for decades.

The conversation reached fever pitch when one user told him “a child will not starve with only one gender loving them”, and in a (since deleted) quick and short reply he quipped “but they will be severely malnourished”.

While it’s clear to us that his choice of words stemmed from the ‘starving’ analogy, this should be an important lesson to all that every tweet should be carefully considered when you’re in the public eye. Naturally the internet is now ablaze with people calling Crews out, some going so far as to call his remarks homophobic and offensive to same-sex couples.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is well known as an LGBTQ inclusive show, and Crews has previous spoken out against problematic behaviour online – think back to him calling on Kevin Hart to own his past around the Oscars drama – but it’s troubling that he’s continuing, days later, to repost messages from people who support his position against single-sex-parent situations, and argue fervently with people who oppose him.

While it is something that he deleted the offending tweet and made his apologies (and later attempted clarification), what we find most troubling is that his initial and unapologetic position is that a woman cannot, or cannot know how to, raise a successful man on her own.