Aziz Ansari Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegation During NYC Show
Aziz Ansari has spoken about the sexual misconduct allegation made against him for the first time in over a year.
Ansari performed at a venue in New York on Monday evening and acknowledged the misconduct claim made against him in January last year in an article published by Babe.
"It’s a terrifying thing to talk about," he said, per Vulture. “There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” he added.
A woman referred to as 'Grace' in the Babe article recalled meeting Ansari in 2017 and described their date at his New York apartment.
“I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz. I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had," 'Grace' told the publication.
The Parks And Recreation actor released an official statement in 2018 about the reported incident, saying he believed the encounter was "consensual". But this is the first time Ansari has publicly spoken about the event.
He said that after a year since the article went viral he "hopes it was a step forward".
"It made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person.”
However, the comedian still made light of the situation -- joking about pinning the claims on Hasan Minhaj, who he is frequently mistaken for.
"‘Oh, no, Aziz, right?’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me," he said, imitating an encounter with a fan.
"‘Master of None!’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me. ‘Parks and Rec!’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me. ‘Treat yourself!’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me. ‘And you had the whole thing come out last year -- sexual misconduct?’ No, no, no, no, no, no, that’s Hasan!”
Ansari added that he was "scared" about the future of his career as an actor and comedian after the claim surfaced and the online backlash began.
“There was a moment,” he said, “where I was scared that I’d never be able to do this again.”
He also said that his friends have commented that the Babe article made them reconsider their own behaviour on dates.
“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.”
Main Image: Getty Images.