Terry Crews slammed for calling kids with single-gender parents 'malnourished'

Terry Crews has been widely criticised for saying the children of same-sex or single parents will grow up "severely malnourished".

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star has become a celebrated figure for advocating for women and for his 2017 testimony about allegedly being assaulted by another man.

But public opinion might be shifting against Crews after he made a series of tweets about parenting.

It began on February 25, with him complaining about a New York Times article that accused President Barack Obama of "scolding" young black men.

Crews said he was bothered that a female journalist had written an opinion piece "about how boys should be taught to grow into successful young men".

"How would she know?" he asked.

That tweet provoked accusations of misogyny, which Crews denied - and then it all got much worse.

"I've reiterated many times that same sex couples and single parents can successfully raise a child," he wrote on Saturday (local time).

"But I believe paternal AND maternal love are like vitamins and minerals to humanity. No matter where you get that paternal and maternal love. MY purpose is to give paternal love."

Another Twitter user replied: "Love is not gendered. A child will not starve with only one gender loving them."

"But they will be severely malnourished," was Crews' response.

Terry Crews slammed for calling kids with single-gender parents 'malnourished'
Photo credit: Twitter

The backlash was swift, with people accusing the actor of disrespecting women, gay people and single parents.

"We all trusted you, only for you to turn out to be a misogynist, homophobic asshole," one Twitter user wrote.

"Your tweet about how kids need both maternal and paternal love was actually f**king offensive," said another. "One of my close friends has two mothers and she is doing just fine! Please learn how to express your points better."

But Crews dug his heels in, saying he "explained it just like I meant to".

"You need both," he reiterated, referring to motherly and fatherly influence.

"You apparently thought I was your puppet," he wrote in another tweet. "But I have a mind of my own, and can see and think very clearly. The 'phobic' tag is the most feared public tag next to racist. I don't fear it because I am neither. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes."

He has since deleted the two tweets that seemed to cause the most upset.

"I have another very controversial statement to make, and I will since I'm 'cancelled' anyway," he concluded. "As a human being there are things you can only get from your mother."

It's not the first time Crews, a devout Christian, has voiced that belief. In 2014 he appeared on talk show The View and said there are things a child "can only get from their father".