Aziz Ansari has responded to accusations of sexual misconduct from a 23-year-old photographer, describing how, “by all indications”, the sexual activity was completely consensual.
In a statement provided to journalists, he said that he was “surprised and concerned” when the woman informed him that she had been uncomfortable, and that he “took her words to heart”, responded in time.
“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.”
Over the weekend, feminist website Babe.com published a long interview with a woman identified only as Grace, describing in intimate detail how she went on a date with the Master of None star and how it turned into “the worst night of my life.”
She told the publication how, after the pair had gone out to dinner, they returned to his apartment, and she felt continually pressured to engage in sexual activity.
After her physical cues that she was not comfortable with sex were either unnoticed or ignored, Grace says that she told Ansari: “I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you.”
She says that he responded by saying, “Oh, of course, it’s only fun if we’re both having fun”, and suggesting they “chill over here on the couch.”
However, she says that moments later, Ansari was naked and pointing to his penis, motioning for her to give him a blowjob.
“He sat back and pointed to his penis and motioned for me to go down on him. And I did. I think I just felt really pressured. It was literally the most unexpected thing I thought would happen at that moment because I told him I was uncomfortable.”
The story – which you can read in full here – has proven that, if nothing else, we need to be having a longer, louder conversation about enthusiastic consent, and what that looks like.
Hot Sex Tip: If she is sending you Mixed Signals, and some of the signals are "I am scared and sad about this sex," stop.— Melinda Taub (@MelindaTaub) January 14, 2018
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this story, please call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or go to the website for support.