Aziz Ansari issues response after details of alleged sexual assault emerge
Aziz Ansari appears to be the latest figure to be accused of sexual misconduct, after a groundbreaking year for victims of sexual harassment and assault. The 34-year-old actor and comedian is best known for his role as Tom Haverford on the NBC television series, Parks and Recreation, as well as for being the star and creator of Netflix's Master of None. And the allegations against Ansari - who was known for being outspoken about women's rights - will come as a surprise to many. Prior to such claims, Ansari was largely considered to be a "woke" male feminist. Certainly, the media company Refinery 29 once labelled him a "a certified woke bae", and he was seen sporting a Time's Up pin at this year's Golden Globes ceremony.
The actor has now responded to the allegations, claiming that he believed the encounter to be consensual.
A 23-year-old woman, referred to only as Grace to protect her identity, has alleged that a sexual encounter with Aziz Ansari became non-consensual. Details of the altercation were disclosed to Babe, who stated that Ansari repeatedly ignored Grace's verbal requests and body language while on a date at his apartment on Monday the 25th September last year - eventually forcing the then 22-year-old to leave in tears.
In the piece, Grace claims that she met the actor at an Emmy's party in September of last year. After hitting it off, they went on a date where Grace continued to "physically [give] off cues that [she] wasn't interested". "Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points," she said. "I stopped moving my lips and turned cold."
Following the encounter, Grace texted Ansari saying that the night "might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me", adding "you kept going with advances" which made her feel "violated".
Grace shared a screenshot of an alleged text conversation between the two, discussing what happened.
Ansari purportedly responded by saying, "Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry." And he has now responded to Grace's account formally through official representation, saying that he believed the encounter to be "completely consensual"
The Master of None star began his account saying that he was "surprised and concerned".
"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.
"I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."
Babe asserts that Grace was compelled to share her story after seeing Ansari wearing a pin in support of the Time's Up movement during this year's Golden Globes awards. "It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award," Grace said. "And absolutely cringeworthy that he was wearing the Time’s Up pin. I think that started a new fire, and it kind of made it more real."