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Opinion is mixed over Aziz Ansari's take on allegation of sexual misconduct

‘It’s a terrifying thing to talk about.’

IN JANUARY 2018, Aziz Ansari found himself at the centre of a media storm when a woman named Grace accused the actor and stand-up comedian of sexual misconduct.

23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Arrivals - Los Angeles Source: Birdie Thompson

Grace asserted that she had gone on a date with Aziz the previous September, and was made to feel uncomfortable during a sexual encounter with the actor that same evening.

The article, which was published on Babe.net, was met with a mixed response at the time, with some showing support for Grace and others dubbing it an insult to the #MeToo movement.

Indeed, there were consistent implications among the press and public that the scenario depicted in the article was more akin to ‘a bad date’ than sexual misconduct.

Responding to the article, Aziz released a statement at the time, asserting that he was concerned to hear that Grace had felt uncomfortable.

Aziz confirmed their date, and then explained: 

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,” he continued.

I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.

This week, Aziz appeared at the Village Underground, the Comedy Cellar’s second venue, and reflected on this particular incident, with the benefit of 12 months hindsight.

NY: Master of None NY premiere arrivals Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

“It’s a terrifying thing to talk about,” he told the audience.

According to Vulture, the comedian then offered an insight into his thought process in the aftermath of the highly-publicised allegation.

There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way. 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.

Aziz then said he hoped the situation might have a wider impact, and ultimately turn a negative into a positive.

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.

Twitter has now responded to Aziz’s on-stage soul-searching in the aftermath of his recent appearance.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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