Over the weekend, there was a report published by Babe about an incident involving a woman and the famous comedian, Anziz Ansari. There were allegations that after a date with the actor she felt uncomfortable with certain events that transpired on the date. She claims that she used verbal and non verbal clues to let him know that she was not comfortable in the direction things were moving but that he ignored her. She claims that what happened was sexual assault but her story however feels a little suspicious.
Normally, here at CelebVoice, we want to give the victim’s a voice. We want to spread the stories of the powerful men who hurt and take advantage of woman in vulnerable positions. This story about Ansari does seems seem to be the same.
The woman, given the pseudonym Grace to protect her identity, said that she met Anasir at the 2017 Emmy Awards After party. They bonded over the photography and later he asked for her number. She was excited that she was meeting a celebrity and that he was texting her. He asked her to hang out and she was over the moon. She carefully picked out an outfit and spend time texting friends asking their advice.
The date started off by her going to his apartment in TriBeCa and drinking wine before the date. She gives details about the dinner conversation but she felt like he was eager to leave. He got the check and then they headed back to his apartment. When they got back, this is where the story seems to be less like sexual assault and more like a terrible one night stand.
She says that he moved too fast when they got into the apartment. According to the article in Babe, he started kissing and groping her immediately. She said, “When Ansari told her he was going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss, Grace voiced her hesitation explicitly. “I said something like, ‘Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.’” She says he then resumed kissing her, briefly performed oral sex on her, and asked her to do the same thing to him. She did, but not for long. “It was really quick. Everything was pretty much touched and done within ten minutes of hooking up, except for actual sex.”
She then talks about how she keeps telling him to slow down and give him clues that she wasn’t interested but she stayed at the apartment. There reached a point where she felt so uncomfortable that she went to the bathroom to collect herself and when she reemerged, he asked if she was ok. She said, “I said I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you.”
This prompted Ansari to say, “Oh, of course, it’s only fun if we’re both having fun.” Which Grace found to be sweet. He then recognized that things needed to slow down. Things did indeed slow down but then according to her, he tried to have sex again. Ultimately, after many attempts, Grace then decided she had had enough and told him she was leaving. He then called her a cab and let her go. It was after the date that she started texting with friends and she decided that it was sexual assault.
The next day she texted him and told him that their encore made her feel uncomfortable and then he apologized. He gave her a heart felt apology and she still decided to go public with her story. The article is scathing and paints Ansari as a sexual predator on the same level as Harvey Weinstein.
This seems to a misjudgment on part of both Grace and the author of the Babe article. I believe that it muddies the waters and takes away from those women who have suffered from terrible violations. It makes women who have come forward seem like their are just trying to get revenge. This strikes me more of a really bad hook up. I think that Ansari was not able to read these cues that Grace says were so obvious, it sounds like those cues were not as obvious as she makes it sound. He apologized in such heart felt way that it is hard to believe that he is a sexual predator. Does he suck at reading signs, most likely but to paint him with the same brush that has been used to paint men like Kevin Spacey is irresponsible. We need to focus on the sexual predators who are hurting and actually violating women.
Ansari has since released his own statement. In his statement he said:
“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.
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.
I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”