Aziz Ansari reflects on sexual misconduct allegations: ‘I hope I’ve become a better person’

Comedian hopes accusations have made him and others 'more thoughtful and aware'

Clémence Michallon
New York
Wednesday 13 February 2019 08:50
Aziz Ansari accused of sexual misconduct

Aziz Ansari has publicly reflected on accusations of sexual misconduct against him, expressing the hope that he has become a “better person”.

The comedian performed on Monday in front of about 200 people at the Village Underground, an outpost of the Comedy Cellar in New York City, according to Vulture.

On stage, he brought up allegations made in January 2018 by a photographer identified as Grace, who said a date with Ansari turned out to be “the worst night of [her] life”.

During his set, Ansari said he took time to process the allegations against him, which is partly why he hasn’t fully addressed them until now, according to Vulture.

He also called the accusations “a terrifying thing to talk about”.

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

“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.”

The comedian expressed the hope that the accusations will cause others to think more about consent.

“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,” he said.

In a story published by the website Babe.net last year, Grace described her discomfort during her encounter with Ansari, saying the comedian had “ignored clear non-verbal cues” and “kept going with advances”.

“Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points,” she told the website. “I stopped moving my lips and turned cold.”

In a follow-up statement, Ansari said at the time that sexual activity ”by all indications was completely consensual”, adding: ”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.”

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