Aziz Ansari has responded to allegations of misconduct in his new Netflix show, Right Now.
Last year, the 36-year-old comedian was accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous 23-year-old photographer. The woman, referred to as “Grace”, said she felt the Master of None creator “took advantage” of her during a date.
Addressing the incident at the start of the show, Ansari says: “I haven’t said much about that whole thing. But I have talked about it on this tour because you’re here and it means a lot to me, and I’m sure some of you are curious about that whole situation.”
Earlier this year (February 12), Ansari addressed the allegations in a stand up show in NYC saying “it was a terrifying thing to talk about.”
In Right Now, Ansari added: “It’s a tricky thing for me to answer because I felt so many things in the last year or so. There’s times I felt scared, there’s times I felt humiliated, there’s times I felt embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible that this person felt this way.
“After a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward. It moved things forward for me and made me think about a lot. I hope I’ve become a better person. I always think back to a conversation I had with one of my friends where he was like, ‘You know what man? That whole thing made me think about every date I’ve ever been on.’ I thought wow, that’s pretty incredible.”
Ansari continued: “This made not just me, but other people be more thoughtful and that’s a good thing. And that’s how I feel about it.”
Towards the end of the show, Ansari thanked the audience for continuing to support him. “It means the world to me because I saw the world where I don’t ever get to do this again. And it almost felt like I had died. In a way, I did.”
After the allegations were originally published, Ansari released a statement in response. “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.”