Aziz Ansari brings up sexual misconduct allegation in standup set
Aziz Ansari reportedly addressed a sexual misconduct allegation made against him last year in a recent stand-up set.
According to Vulture, who had a reporter in attendance at the New York show, the comedian made it clear the allegation was no laughing matter.
“There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” Ansari said, according to the publication. “But you know, after a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person.”
A representative for Ansari did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for quote verification.
In January 2018, a 23-year-old photographer, who shared her account anonymously, said in a story published on the website Babe that she was “pressured” into having oral sex with Ansari.
The woman, who described first meeting Ansari at an Emmy Awards event, told Babe she used verbal and non-verbal cues to communicate that she was “distressed.”
“I cried the whole ride home. At that point I felt violated,” she said, telling Babe she felt her experience with Ansari amounted to sexual assault.
CNN does not know the identity of the woman.
Ansari responded to the allegation at the time, admitting that he and the women engaged in sexual activity but it was “by all indications” “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,” Ansari’s statement said. “I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”
The woman’s account led to a broader social discussion and debate about the relationship between sex and power.
During his show, Ansari said the incident is “a terrifying thing to talk about.”
According to Vulture, Ansari said, “If that has made not just me but other guys think about this, and just be more thoughtful and aware and willing to go that extra mile, and make sure someone else is comfortable in that moment, that’s a good thing.”
Vulture reporter Jesse David Fox, who indicated on Twitter that he was in attendance, did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for more information on his reporting.
As described in the piece, the audience’s phones were seized prior to Ansari’s show.
Ansari resumed touring in September for the first time since the allegation.