Comedian Aziz Ansari, in his new Netflix special, talks about the allegation of sexual misconduct that surfaced on Tuesday and tells the audience at the top of the show that he's still struggling with so many emotions.
"There time I felt anxious, at times I felt humiliated, at times I felt embarrassed," says the 36-year-old in his stand-up show, "Aziz Ansari: Right Now." "And ultimately felt I'm just terrible, that this person felt that way. " The claim was published anonymously by the babe.net website in 2018, citing a 23-year-old Brooklyn, New York, woman who used a pseudonym that described a date with Ansari a few months earlier. She said he acted aggressively and put pressure on her during a sexual encounter.
In a statement to NBC News, Ansari described this as "fully consensual." He added that she later sent him a text message in which she said she felt uncomfortable and that, though he was surprised, "took her words to heart and answered privately after taking his time to process what she said. " Other stories of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse entangled celebrities and high-profile and powerful men, leading to a # MeToo bill that also unraveled some of their careers. But the impact of Ansari's case has led to a debate about the varying degrees and nuances of sexual misconduct and how such stories are reported to the public.
Without elaborating on what happened, Ansari said during his special, he hopes that experience has made him a better person.
"I always think of a conversation I had with one of my friends where he said:" Do you know what, man? "The whole thing made me think of every date on which I've been there before, "Ansari said.
Ansari had won a Golden Globe the week before the allegation became known for his starring role in the Netflix series "Master of None." But in the following months he stayed out of the limelight before starting an international comedy tour called "Road to Nowhere" last summer. I'll tell you how someone mistaken him for another comedian who has a Netflix show, Hasan Minhaj.
"He immediately noticed his mistake, he tried to buy him back, he says:" Oh, no, no, Aziz, right? "I said," Yes, yes, that's me. " # 39; No, no, no, no, no! That was Hasan & # 39 ;, Ansari laughed.
Ansari also addresses issues of cultural appropriation, Alzheimer's struggle of his grandmother, and his relationship with his girlfriend
"All we really have is the moment we are in," he added, "and the people we're with." Erik Ortiz Erik Ortiz is a NBC News employee concerned with racial injustice and social inequality.
Sarah Twarog contributed.