CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault.
Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari is the latest man in Hollywood to have accusations of sexual misconduct levelled at him, after an interview was published on feminist website babe with a 23-year-old woman who says the single date she went on with him was “the worst night of [her] life“.
I talked to a girl who says she went on a date with @azizansari in an exclusive for @babedotnet. She told me, "It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had." I believe her. #TimesUp #MeToo #AzizAnsari https://t.co/p7q0fjSsh0
— Katie Way (@k80way) January 13, 2018
The anonymous interviewee, referred to as Grace, says that while her initial interactions with Ansari were fun – they met at the Emmys afterparty in 2017, when Grace was 22 – their date quickly turned sour. Grace explains that Ansari rushed her out of the restaurant they were in as soon as they’d finished eating and took her back to his apartment, where she says he immediately started making out with her, undressing her and undressing himself.
After Ansari said he would go get a condom just minutes after their first kiss, Grace says she “said something like, ‘Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.‘”
She says this was a common theme throughout their encounter: he would charge forward, attempting to initiate sex, and she’d try to put the brakes on. She describes in particular a move that he kept doing that she calls “the claw“:
The move he kept doing was taking his two fingers in a V-shape and putting them in my mouth, in my throat to wet his fingers, because the moment he’d stick his fingers in my throat he’d go straight for my vagina and try to finger me.
She also says that he persistently followed her around the apartment as she tried to withdraw, kept trying to put her hand on his dick, and ignored her non-verbal cues that she was uninterested, like when she says she stopped moving her lips while they were kissing and “went cold“.
Grace says that when she verbally expressed her discomfort, telling Ansari, “I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you“, he suggested they take a break and “chill” on the couch – which she says then resulted in him asking her to go down on him, and her acquiescing.
Eventually, after he continued trying to have sex with her, she again verbally said she didn’t want to do that, and he again suggested they “chill”, but clothed this time. Grace says he tried to make out with her again, and when she expressed that she wanted to leave, called her a car. She says she cried the whole way home.
Babe has published images of the text message exchange that they allege took place between Grace and Ansari the day after the date, in which Grace sent a long message explaining that he made her feel violated and uneasy. Ansari responded with:
I’m so sad to hear this. All I can say is, it would never be my intention to make you or anyone feel the way you described. Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.
23-year-old Grace* went on a date with Aziz Ansari in September. It turned out to be the worst night of her life. She told babe Ansari pulled her hand towards his penis multiple times and “kept doing it after I moved it away.” She said she remembers him asking again and again, “Where do you want me to fuck you?” Throughout the course of the night, she says she used verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how unhappy she was. This is a conversation between them the following day where Grace tells Ansari how uncomfortable he made her feel, saying “you ignored clear non-verbal cues” and “kept going with advances.” Read the full story on babe.net.
The interview has generated controversy online, with some calling for a boycott of Ansari’s work and others defending him as being “clumsy”, but not crossing a line of consent. Others have taken to Twitter to share their own allegations of Ansari’s misconduct toward them and their friends.
I feel like this will get lost in the convo about if Aziz Ansari Did Sexual Assault – but that feeling when you you shut down and stop responding, and the guy just keeps going and you realize that he doesn't care if you're in your body or not? It's awful too.
— Melinda Taub (@MelindaTaub) January 14, 2018
Whoa Whoa Whoa. The date seems awful. but I'm not about to toss out Aziz Ansari because one Becky writes an essay. A bad date does not = horribe predator.
We need to do some serious reflection about what we're doing here. Some of you are dangerously close to ruining #metoo
— Margaret Menefee (@MargaretMenefee) January 14, 2018
If you think the story about Aziz Ansari is just a "bad date" then you literally don't understand how complex rape and sexual assault can be. If a person is repeatedly telling and giving you indications they do not want to have sex w/ you, then you should stop & not try anything
— Kayla Morosco (@catsaesthetics) January 14, 2018
"Grace compares Ansari’s sexual mannerisms to those of a horny, entitled 18-year-old. But he isn’t an 18-year-old. He’s a 34 year old celebrity who’s probably done more thinking about the nuances of dating and sex in the digital age than anyone else. He wrote a book about it." https://t.co/asANWTbmYJ
— miss revanche…. (@jonnoxrevanche) January 14, 2018
One thing I can say is that even men I trust and like have told me that they were socialized to believe that, if a woman says "no," you should test that boundary to make sure she means it. That ideology lays the groundwork for this four-hour "just checking" kind of assault.
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) January 14, 2018
Re: @azizansari. Several years ago, he forced himself on a friend of mine by following her into the bathroom and pushing himself into stall she was in as she tried to break free. I have tried to use this story to get people to boycott his projects, but most shrugged it off.
— Ray Siegel (@RaySiegel) January 14, 2018
Ansari and his representatives have yet to respond.
If you would like to talk to a counsellor about rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, give the people over at 1800 RESPECT a call on 1800 737 732.Source: babe
Image: Getty Images / Christopher Polk