Comedian Aziz Ansari has publicly responded to allegations of sexual impropriety detailed in a story published over the weekend, saying in a statement that his encounter with a woman “by all indications was completely consensual.”
In a piece published Saturday on babe.net, a 23-year-old photographer from Brooklyn described a date with the comic that allegedly ended with him forcefully kissing her in his apartment and trying to have sex with her repeatedly. She told the outlet that it was “painful” watching Ansari accept his Golden Globe last week while wearing a Time’s Up pin in support of combating sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
“I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz,” the woman told babe.net. “I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had.”
Ansari confirmed, via his statement, that he had met the woman at a September party, exchanged numbers and went on a date that ended with sexual activity.
“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed OK,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” Ansari said. “It was true that everything did seem OK 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.”
He added: “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”
The detailed story, which included the woman saying she tried to move away from Ansari and her describing “verbal and non-verbal cues,” also sparked a debate around consent and the mass reckoning on sexual misconduct.
Ansari has publicly declared himself a feminist and co-wrote a New York Times bestseller with a prominent sociologist about dating and love in the digital era.
He also won best TV actor in a comedy at the Golden Globes on Sunday for his role on “Master of None,” the Netflix series he co-created. A storyline in the second season involves Ansari’s character discovering a likable showbiz friend and partner is a serial sexual harasser, and the fallout after the allegations become public.
“I think it was around the time Roger Ailes was getting all these reports filed against him, and the same way it happened for Bill O’Reilly,” Ansari told Vulture in May 2017. “So it was like, ‘Okay, what if this is one of those types of guys and we just get the audience to love him? And then pull the rug out from under them at the end and reveal that he’s actually not a good dude?’”