Comedian and “Parks and Recreation” star Aziz Ansari has responded to a report on Babe.net of sexual misconduct by a 23-year-old photographer he took out last September.
In that report, the anonymous woman alleges Ansari aggressively pressured her to perform sexual acts after she went back to his Tribeca apartment following dinner at a restaurant.
The woman asserts that her encounter with Ansari amounts to sexual assault and he ignored her verbal and non-verbal cues that she was uncomfortable with his actions.
The woman decided to come forward after watching Ansari win a Golden Globe Award for his Netflix series “Master of None” and wore a Time’s Up pin on his lapel at the ceremony. The 34 year-old comedian has now responded to the claim through his publicist saying:
“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.”
The claim against Ansari has sparked much debate about whether the experience described in the story crosses the line into misconduct or is it more accurately a bad date. Much of the reaction from both men and women on comment boards writing up the story are leaning heavily towards the latter and voicing concern a story like this might damage or take attention away from more serious cases of sexual harassment and abuse.