Illustration for article titled Terry Crews Is Ashy
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

There are, according to my research, three grades of ash; each uncomfortable in its own way, but one a bit deeper and, um, ashier than the rest.

First, of course, is literal ash. This is what happens when your skin gets dry and an anti-sheen attacks it, leaving you looking and feeling like you just boned a vat of baby powder. Yet, as unsightly, date-ending, and grandparent-shaming as literal ash can be, it can be rectified with a moderate-to-generous helping of lotion.

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Next is accidental ash, the silent-but-deadly occurrence when you believe yourself to be ash-free—thoughtfully moisturized and ready to live your best ash-void life—but you have some renegade ash on your hands or, *gasp*, your lips. This is when ash transmutes from a reaction to a sentient being, essentially becoming a terrorist. Lotion also helps here, but once accidental ash strikes, emergency public lotioning becomes the cruelest taunt.

And then, there’s metaphysical ash. This is what happens when your skin might sparkle but your soul is dry. You have an ashy essence. An aura of ash. You emanate lotion-less-ness. Fixing this is especially tricky because, for years, the most popular remedy was to demand that the ash-ridden just read some fucking books. But if you read the wrong books, it just furthered your spirit’s descent into an event horizon of ash.

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Unfortunately, Terry Crews seems intent on not only showing us how long he’s lived in Ash Perdition, but how cheap the land is there, too.

Now, as the homie Maiysha Kai articulated yesterday, Terry Crews ain’t the first and won’t be the last to prioritize check deposits over integrity. I, for instance, went to Cracker Barrel two weeks ago. Which, I know has no relevance here, but they have good pancakes and I just wanted to share. What makes Crews particularly ash-infested is his willingness—his glee—in throwing a black woman (Gabrielle Union) under the bus, when he very easily could’ve just...not. (Or just shut the fuck up.) To add ashy to injury, when defending himself, he got on Twitter and threw every other black woman—including some his black ass is literally related to—under the same bus.

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Considering that it was mostly black women who had his back when he revealed that he was sexually assaulted by a powerful Hollywood executive—a fact he admits to—Terry Crews has descended past ash to post-ash. He’s discovered an ash wormhole, complete with anti-gravity ash and subatomic ash particles, hurling towards each other at the speed of ash.

Can Crews recover from this? I’m not sure. Post-ash-level ashiness requires moisturizing agents far more powerful than shea butter. This brolic nigga might need an ashorcism. (Get it? Exorcism/Ashorcism? Nevermind.) In the meantime, I’d avoid any close contact with him. That level of ash is extremely contagious, and I wouldn’t want any of y’all to catch a stray.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for GQ.com, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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