Aziz Ansari has performed live stand-up comedy for the first time since sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.
In January, Babe.net published a piece in which an anonymous 23-year-old woman claimed Ansari had “taken advantage” of her. The actor and comedian later issued a statement denying the allegations, saying any sexual activity was “completely consensual”.
Social media users have now reported that Ansari made his return to the stage last week, making impromptu appearances at New York’s Comedy Cellar. According to those in attendance, his sets covered subjects like millennials, Starbucks, and racism.
I saw Aziz Anzari at the Comedy Cellar last night and if I told people this a year ago they’d be like “cool” but now they’re like “oh”
— Hershlay (@hershlay) May 11, 2018
“I saw Aziz Ansari at the Comedy Cellar last night and if I told people this a year ago, they’d be like ‘cool’, but now they’re like ‘oh’,” wrote one person on Twitter. DJ Cipha Sounds, who hosts a Sunday brunch event at the renowned comedy club, also confirmed Ansari had stopped by to perform, captioning a photo of him on stage: “My Aziz popped up at brunch today. You still not coming to @nycomedycellar brunch show every Sunday??? WTF”.
Following the accusations against Ansari being made public, US news anchor Ashleigh Banfield hit out at the woman involved, calling her claims “reckless and hollow”.
“I’m sorry you had a bad date,” Banfield said, adding that the incident described by the woman “wasn’t a rape, nor was it a sexual assault.” “You had a bad date,” she added. “Your date got overly amorous. After protesting his moves, you did not get up and leave. You continued to engage in the sexual encounter.”