Aziz Ansari opens up about the sexual misconduct claims against him made by a woman that the actor went on a date with last year. Understandably opting to remain anonymous, the accuser went into great detail of her horrendous experience with the comedian, who allegedly was too sexually aggressive, putting her in an uncomfortable position.
Starting as a stand-up comic in New York, Ansari first came into mainstream prominence while playing Tom Haverford in NBC's Parks and Recreation. He followed it up by creating a series for Netflix, Master of None, where he also plays the lead role - commercial actor Dev Shah. Ansari has received several acting and writing accolades for that show, becoming the first Asian-American actor to win a Golden Globe for acting in television. A third season is still unconfirmed at this point, and it will be interesting if the streaming giant will move forward with the show considering the conversation surrounding its main star.
In a statement sent to Variety by Ansari, the comedian confirmed his encounter with the 23-year-old and gave us a CliffsNotes version of what happened between meeting his accuser to the morning after their terrible first date. In his story, he acknowledged that he did have the conversation with the female about her traumatic experience. Unfortunately, despite the lady being clearly in distress (based on her statement), the Parks and Rec alum was sadly oblivious to her woes despite obvious cues about it. It was only after she pointed it out that the actor realized how badly their meet-up went down.
“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.
The next day, I got a text from her saying that although “it may have seemed okay,” upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”
Despite the scandal currently haunting him, Ansari maintains to back-up the Time's Up movement, which he was very passionate about before this development broke out. He was even proudly wearing the campaign pin, as most attendees during the recently held 75th Golden Globes where he won for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for his performance in Master of None “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue,” he said.
After hearing both sides of the story, what's more alarming in this situation is that it has spawned online debate whether this is considered sexual harassment or just a case of a date gone wrong. Unlike other high profile scandals such as Harvey Weinstein's and Kevin Spacey's, where it is clear-cut that men have imposed themselves on unwilling partners, this one falls on muddy grounds given that both adults willingly met each other in the hopes of mingling and possibly starting a romantic relationship. However, the fact that the woman felt uncomfortable, and was even vocal about it, during her encounter with the comedian should be an indication that she wasn't consenting to anything that they did.