Aziz Ansari Returns to the Stage With a Vague Apology

Aziz Ansari took the stage once again at Village Underground New York. And finally he addressed what everyone was hoping he would. Last year a story on Babe.net was published entailing a woman’s date with Aziz Ansari, accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Reading Grace’s experience with Ansari was painfully uncomfortable because the misconduct was similar to the more everyday pressure women face from men. It wasn’t as shocking as other allegations of misconduct in Hollywood that have come about that caused instant horror and a general write off from people’s good graces.

It’s frustrating how easily people are accepting Aziz Ansari back into their good graces- had he even left them- with such minimal of an apology or reflection. It’s even more frustrating that someone who has made profit off of the “nice guy” shtick can act so grossly in his day to day life. His standup special on Netflix, Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square garden had a bit that played on the disproportionate amount of creepy stories women have about men versus men about women.

“You know what I realized recently? Creepy dudes are everywhere," Ansari said. "It really sucks 'cuz women have to worry about creepy dudes all the time. And it's very unfair because men never worry about creepy women. That's not a thing. No man has that story. No guy in here has any story like that. Every woman in here has at least three stories like that.”

What do you know, a woman has a story like that about Aziz.

In the Babe.net article Grace spoke about how she had felt uncomfortable during their sexual encounter. And at several points said she doesn’t want to go any further. Sure, Aziz obliged, as she described, but then would go back to pressuring her verbally and physically.

“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 fucking game.’” via Babe.net

I don’t know at what point people can change or redeem themselves. I don’t know at what point we can see someone has authentically realized their mistakes.

But I do know for sure that Ansari’s silence and minimal mention in his latest standup isn’t enough. Sure, it’s a lot better than fellow comedian Louis CK’s recent stand up that inappropriately glides by his sexual misconduct and frames it as one big joke. But Ansari’s addressment of the topic is no way enough.

During the show at the Village Underground, Ansari said, “If that has made not just me but other guys think about this, and just be more thoughtful and aware and willing to go that extra mile, and make sure someone else is comfortable in that moment, that’s a good thing”

Since when is making sure the other person you’re getting physical with is comfortable going the extra mile? It continues to perpetuate the false idea that women are too sensitive and over reactant.

“Ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” he continued. He doesn’t take the full blame and beats around a real apology. He frames his regret outside of his own actions and at her feelings, taking away responsibility.

Where’s the proper apology?