Aziz Ansari Replies to Article About Sexual Misconduct

The response — not an apology — was deemed by many to fall short of what the situation required.
By Alex Firer
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  • Over the weekend an article on retold an account from a woman (pseudonym) Grace between her and comedian and writer Aziz Ansari. The encounter began as a date and ended with Grace leaving Ansari’s home in tears after Ansari continually tried to put her hand on his crotch and tried to coerce her into giving him oral sex despite her consistent statements that she wanted to do no such thing — making it unwanted sexual misconduct. The article can be read in full here, and has started a conversation on the kinds of sexual encounters many men see as okay but are actually awful, terrible and traumatic.

    Many have expressed that in a way, this is as meaningful as the Harvey Weinstein thing, because while Weinstein is a monster, this sort of behavior is more common — where coercion and pressure is mistaken for consent — and indeed a new conversation has surfaced, making this a different sort of allegation than the one that has been arising as of late. Ansari has released a statement on the matter. The statement reads as follows —

    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.

    His response seems to not really take the woman’s experience seriously, which is unfortunate. I’m sure you all have opinions about this, and we very much want to hear them. Leave them in the comments below or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.