Aziz Ansari had no problem getting serious about his sexual misconduct allegation in his new Netflix comedy special.
The Spike Jonze-directed project, titled Aziz Ansari Right Now, dropped on Tuesday morning, more than a year after the Parks and Recreation star was accused by a nameless victim of being inappropriate after a date.
The comedian wasted no time discussing the highly-publicized #MeToo story before kicking off his actual set. He dove right into the controversy after greeting the massive crowd, saying:
“You know, I haven’t said much about that whole thing, but I’ve talked about it on this tour, ’cause you’re here and it means a lot to me. I’m sure there are some of you that are curious how I feel about that whole situation.”
Aziz’s alleged encounter was definitely one of the more curious cases to go public at the height of the #MeToo movement.
As we reported, the accuser told Babe.net she agreed to go back to Ansari’s place after the two went on a date. She claimed she felt pressured by the actor into performing oral sex, and texted him the next day to explain how she was uncomfortable.
Shortly after the story broke, Aziz said in a statement that he felt awful about it. However, their alleged encounter sparked a fierce debate over what actually qualified as a #MeToo accusation, which previously highlighted more black-and-white cases of unwanted sexual assault.
For his part, the Master of None star said he was severely impacted by the accusation, explaining:
“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, made me think about a lot. I hope I’ve become a better person.”
Ansari went on to reveal that being accused changed him for the better, as he spent the next year re-evaluating other dates he went on with a new awareness:
“I always think about 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.’ And I thought, wow! That’s pretty incredible. If this made not just me but other people be more thoughtful, then that’s a good thing, and that’s how I feel about it.”
He also admitted that talking about the situation was “not the most hilarious way to begin a comedy show, but it’s important to me that you know how I felt about that whole thing before we share this night together.”
Hey, it’s much better than fellow accused comedian Louis C.K.’s comeback technique; making weird jokes about the Parkland shooting survivors.
The 36-year-old’s comments garnered large applause from the crowd before he segued into his material on the state of the country — which included a riff on why white people are so obsessed with the movie Crazy Rich Asians.
Watch a clip (below) to see one of the lighter moments from his special.
Has he earned your forgiveness yet?
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