Aziz Ansari, an American comedian and actor known for his Netflix series Master of None, is now in the eye of a storm, after a young woman named "Grace" was interviewed by online publication babe.net about a sexual encounter with Ansari that left her feeling "violated".
That is not to say I think Grace was, by definition, sexually assaulted, and I'm not saying Ansari is entirely responsible and should be stripped of his awards, his celebrity status and his job - but Weiss' statement discounts the value the story has in explaining how complicated and confusing and awkward sex can be for most people.
Ansari ended the statement saying "I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture". Grace's account does not necessarily mean that Ansari is no longer the woke bae we thought he was, or that he's no longer qualified to be a dating expert.
Babe.net published the story January 14 under the harrowing headline, "I went on a date with Aziz Ansari". "It was fun meeting you last night", he texted.
The encounter ends with Grace telling Ansari, "You guys are all the same", Ansari going in for a last, ill-advised kiss, and Grace getting up to leave, at which point Ansari orders her an Uber. Even the author of a New York Times op-ed condemning the article admits she recognized herself in the story.
"And it's very hard for us to see that there are different modes of oppression, and that we need to listen now - not just to younger feminists, but as you say women from traditionally marginalized communities". The victim in this 3,000-word story is called "Grace" - not her real name - and her saga with Mr. Ansari began at a 2017 Emmys after-party. Girl, this was not the MeToo movement; This is what you call a bad date.
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The next day, I got a text from her saying that although "it may have seemed okay", upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable.
"I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz".
Somehow - despite the fact that she literally said something to the effect of "Whoa, let's relax for a sec, let's chill", when she felt their physical interaction escalating too quickly, and kept moving her hand away from his genitals (he kept putting her hand back on his crotch); she recalls, "He probably moved my hand to his dick five to seven times. It turned into the worst night of my life", Grace recalls that after a hurried dinner they returned to his apartment, where Ansari, she claims, engaged in sexual acts with her. Grace also claimed that she texted Ansari the next day and that he apologized and "misread things".
"So what exactly is your beef?" the host asked. The actor then made a move, asking her to sit on the counter. By your own clear description, this was not a rape, nor a sexual assault.
"I hope the next time you go on a bad date, you stand up sooner, you smooth out your dress, and you bloody well leave". Eventually, they performed oral sex on each other, Grace claimed.
"By your description, your sexual encounter was unpleasant". It's that the kinds of behaviors - pushiness about sex, groping or the casual use of diminutive language toward women - that previously would have been accepted as the norm are now being thrown into the public eye on a regular basis.