Aziz Ansari Sexual Misconduct Allegation Divides the Internet

Aziz Ansari has been accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous female photographer, causing a schism within his fan base and the general online community.

On Jan. 13, the website published an exclusive story in which a young 23-year-old woman, under the alias “Grace,” tells a reporter about her encounter with Ansari. According to the article, Grace met Ansari at a party in Los Angeles, where they exchanged numbers. Eventually, a date was set up in New York.

On the night of the date, Grace met Ansari at his apartment, where the two drank wine. Then, after dinner, they returned to Ansari’s apartment, where the comedian allegedly pressured her into various sexual acts.


Ansari’s Netflix series “Master of None” won a Golden Globe earlier this month. Grace said seeing him win the award while wearing a Time’s Up pin on his lapel was partially what inspired her to come forward with her story.

While many were quick to condemn Ansari for his behavior, others, like The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan, found fault with the account. “Apparently there is a whole country full of young women who don’t know how to call a cab, and who have spent a lot of time picking out pretty outfits for dates they hoped would be nights to remember,” Flanagan wrote. “They’re angry and temporarily powerful, and last night they destroyed a man who didn’t deserve it.”

Opinion editor Bari Weiss at The New York Times echoed that sentiment, calling the Babe piece “arguably the worst thing” to happen to the rising women’s empowerment movement. “It transforms what ought to be a movement for women’s empowerment into an emblem for female helplessness,” Weiss said.

Feminist author Jessica Valenti made her opinion known on Twitter, as did others:


Aziz Ansari has since released a statement responding to Grace’s allegations. In his statement, Ansari does not deny that he went on a date with such a woman in the fall last year and that they engaged in sexual activity, but he maintains that the activity was “by all indications completely consensual.”

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” he continued. “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.”