Culture

Aziz Ansari Responds To Allegations Of Sexual Assault

"We ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual."

This story discusses sexual assault.

Comedian and Master of None star Aziz Ansari has released a statement after being accused of sexual assault in a damning article on the website babe.

A 23-year-old woman who is using the alias “Grace” for anonymity spoke to babe and alleged that Ansari, a self-professed feminist, ignored both verbal and non-verbal cues to stop and slow down during sex. “I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz,” she said. “I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had.”

In a statement issued today, Ansari claims he believed the encounter was “completely consensual” and that he was “surprised and concerned” about the allegations.

“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,” stated Ansari. “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”

Grace describes the encounter in detail on babe, listing the ways she felt that Ansari violated the boundaries of consent throughout the date, which included Ansari pressuring her into sex by following her around the apartment, repeatedly placing her hand on his penis and ignoring her pleas to “take it slow” and “chill”.

The author and comedian has a long history of engaging with issues of feminism and dating culture, such as in his book Modern Romance, or on his Emmy award winning show Master of None, which had an arc about sexual assault and harassment in its second season. He recently attended the Golden Globes Awards wearing a ‘Time’s Up’ pin, supporting the post-Weinstein anti-harassment movement.

After babe’s article was published, actor Noël Wells — who played Ansari’s girlfriend Rachel in the first season of Master Of None — appeared to take a swipe at her former co-star on Twitter.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.