Aziz Ansari responds to sexual misconduct allegation

By: Meaghan Wray

Aziz Ansari is the latest addition to an extensive string of sexual violence and misconduct allegations against men in the entertainment industry. On Saturday (Jan. 13), a 23-year-old New York based photographer – who spoke under the pseudonym Grace – released a recount of her first and only date with the comedian to the online publication Babe, as told by writer Katie Way .

In the wake of his Golden Globe win, Aziz responded to the accusations on Sunday (Jan. 14), 31 hours after Babe’s first report of the incident.

“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. – Aziz Ansari”

The photographer says that she first met Aziz, 34, at the 2017 Emmy Awards after-party. The two hit it off, exchanged numbers and met for a date on September 25. The two moved the date to Aziz’s townhome in the city, where Grace said she was “physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested. I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored.”

Grace ended up in an Uber called by Aziz riding home in tears. The two exchanged texts the following day, with Aziz expressing that he had “fun meeting [her] last night” and Grace explaining, at length, that the encounter was “uncomfortable” and that he “ignored clear non-verbal cues”.

The Master of None creator and actor has discussed sexual misconduct and women’s rights, both on his show and in his book Modern Romance. Much of his stand-up comedy, too, discusses the harassment women deal with every day.

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