Aziz Ansari responds to Allegations of Sexual Assault

Aziz Ansari has responded to the sexual assault allegations made against him. He claims that the encounter was “completely consensual”. It has now sparked a growing debate on social media.

aziz ansari

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

After accusations of sexual assault were made against him, Aziz Ansari has now responded. He claims that the encounter detailed by a 23-year-old female photographer “by all indications was completely consensual”.

The Desi American gave his comments via his publicist in a statement, sent to Variety, People and various US magazines.

The statement reads: “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.”

Aziz also confirmed a text exchange did take place between him and the woman. “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.”

Here is his statement:

Statement - Aziz Ansari allegations

His response came on 14th January 2018, hours after published the alleged incident recalled by an unidentified woman, her name changed to Grace. She claimed that during a date with Aziz in September 2017, he made an alleged series of unwanted sexual advances towards her.

She also described it as “by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had”. The story came out after Aziz won ‘Best Actor in a Comedy Series’ at the Golden Globes 2018, which Grace said to

“It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award. And absolutely cringeworthy that he was wearing the Time’s Up pin.”

However, in Aziz’s statement, he explained he would continue to support anti-sexual assault movements:

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

The incident has sparked a huge debate amongst Twitter users – with opinions dividing on whether it counts as sexual assault. Some have dubbed the incident as “a bad date” and suggesting that the line of what constitutes as sexual harassment has gone overboard.

In addition, others have also raised concerns that movements such as #MeToo could be at risk of turning into ‘bandwagons’.

The incident is, in some respects, different to the claims made against Hollywood figures such as Harvey Weinstein. As it takes place in the context of a date, rather than in the workplace. However, some have pointed out how it reflects the concerning issue of consent.

They also believe it highlights how women may feel coerced into sexual activity they may not actually want to partake in.

With Aziz’s response and the ongoing social media debate, this incident shows the complexity of sexual assault.

Therefore, it seems discussions are still needed within society in order for all to understand sexual harassment and consent.

Sarah is an English and Creative Writing graduate who loves video games, books and looking after her mischievous cat Prince. Her motto follows House Lannister's "Hear Me Roar".

Image courtesy of Mario Anzuoni/Reuters.

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