Woke comedian Aziz Ansari has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo and "Time's Up" anti-sexual harassment campaigns and traffics in flexing his progressive pro-women views. His Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Netflix series "Master of None" focused heavily on alleged rampant misogyny in our culture and addressed sexual harassment allegations against a beloved character named Chef Jeff.
Mr. Ansari is now being accused of what he so strongly protests against.
Over the weekend, Babe magazine published a post detailing the account of a 23-year-old woman named "Grace" who claimed Ansari sexually assaulted her at his apartment after they went on a date together.
Grace said she was "uncomfortable" and that Ansari ignored her "verbal and non-verbal cues"; the two engaged in oral sex.
Here's some of the account, provided by Babe:
Ansari also physically pulled her hand towards his penis multiple times throughout the night, from the time he first kissed her on the countertop onward. “He probably moved my hand to his d*** five to seven times,” she said. “He really kept doing it after I moved it away.”
But the main thing was that he wouldn’t let her move away from him. She compared the path they cut across his apartment to a football play. “It was 30 minutes of me getting up and moving and him following and sticking his fingers down my throat again. It was really repetitive. It felt like a f***ing game.”
Throughout the course of her short time in the apartment, she says she used verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was. “Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points,” she said. “I stopped moving my lips and turned cold.”
Whether Ansari didn’t notice Grace’s reticence or knowingly ignored it is impossible for her to say. “I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested. I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored.”
After Grace collected herself in the bathroom, she said the pressuring continued.
"He sat back and pointed to his penis and motioned for me to go down on him. And I did. I think I just felt really pressured. It was literally the most unexpected thing I thought would happen at that moment because I told him I was uncomfortable," she told the magazine.
"It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault," said Grace. "I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz. I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had."
The 23-year-old provided text messages to Babe, showing that she told Ansari he ignored her "clear non-verbal cues" and she was uncomfortable.
"I’m so sad to hear this," the comic responded via text. "Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry."
Ansari said, via a statement issued on Monday, that to him, the experience was "completely consensual."
"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," writes Ansari.
"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," Ansari added.
"I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue," he said.
The account from Grace reads like an awkward sexual encounter with an entitled celebrity. It does not read like an account of sexual assault. And, according to Ansari, the sexual experience was "completely consensual."
But, the thing is, by the standards advocated by Ansari, all women should be believed, right? "Time's Up" on sexual predators like Ansari, right? Why does he, a male in the top 1%, get to invalidate a woman's "experience"?
Maybe Ansari, who has used the trendy anti-sexual harassment groundswell to help manufacture his woke celebrity, will learn that being critical of the movement's excesses is necessary; that the standards we are setting for "assault" are flawed; that your wokeness might come full circle and devour you.