Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Master of None actor Aziz Ansari denies sexual misconduct allegation

Master of None actor Aziz Ansari denies sexual misconduct allegation

Entertainment Weekly reports that HLN's Ashleigh Banfield criticized the accuser of Ansari, claiming that what "Grace" had was a bad date and she was damaging the #MeToo movement. The photographer (known as "Grace" for anonymity) alleges that Ansari persistently pressured her to engage in sexual activities that she was not comfortable with, aptly comparing his behavior to that of a "horny, rough, entitled 18-year old".

The sexual misconduct allegation against comedian and actor Aziz Ansari has resulted in controversial opinion pieces from The New York Times, The Atlantic, and more in which writers defend Ansari and call the specific claims against him "dangerous". "Grace" said that she used verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was during the date.

Following the broadcast, Banfield told TheWrap she made her on-air remarks because "it was just time someone said something out loud before the movement runs so amok we lose all the gains we've righteously achieved". Tensions are running so high after "Grace" (not her real name) shared a detailed account of a date she went on with Aziz Ansari, that even CNN correspondents have started to angrily weigh in.

In light of these discussions - in which many have brushed off the encounter as a "normal" or "ordinary" experience - some are missing the point that Grace's account serves to not only give voice to a woman who has been silent about a sexual encounter she did not desire, but also women like her who have faced similar unwanted experiences with men.

The woman said she chose to make her story public after she saw Ansari sport a Time's Up pin at the Golden Globe Awards last week, at which he won the award for "Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy" for his monumental work on Netflix's "Master of None" (see earlier India-West story here).

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"We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual", Mr. Ansari said.

The next night, Ansari texted to tell Grace how much he enjoyed their date to which she replied that she didn't feel the same way. "It is necessary and long overdue", the 34-year-old "Master of None" star said. Afterward, they walked back to his apartment, where she complimented his countertops, made out of marble.

"You had a bad date", Banfield continued.

Banfield concluded her remarks by saying "the only sentence" a man like Ansari "deserves is a bad case of blue balls, not a Hollywood blackball".

But he continued to press her to perform various sexual acts, she alleged. 'It was white, ' she said.

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She said the comedian kept attempting to have sex with her despite her signalling that she didn't want to. If you were sexually harassed, and your bad date, because of his actions, mitigated your ability to do your job, you should definitely speak up, and loud, because that's happened to me too, and it stinks. "I didn't leave because I think I was stunned and shocked", she said. As TheWrap previously reported, Brzezinski challenged movement orthodoxy by suggesting all women should not necessarily be believed and that she knew men who were moving away from hiring women because of MeToo. By your own description, your sexual encounter was unpleasant.

A woman has accused Aziz Ansari of sexual assault.

In a screenshot of text messages allegedly sent between the two, Ansari texted Grace about their "fun" night.

However, it seems like almost every ounce of progress we made with talking about the problem women face in our society came spiraling and falling apart when a woman came forward and shared her account of a date she went on with comedian (and self-proclaimed feminist) Aziz Ansari.

"In September of past year, I met a woman at a party", Ansari began.

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