Comedian Aziz Ansari opened up about the sexual misconduct allegation leveled against him in a recent stand-up set, saying he hopes it has made him a better person.
Ansari’s Monday night performance in New York came about a year after he was accused of misconduct in an article published by Babe.net. A woman described a date with Ansari, which she said ended with him pressuring her into performing oral sex. Ansari in a statement said that their encounter was consensual.
The comedian, who is in the middle of a stand-up tour, said he was “really upset and humiliated and embarrassed” by the story and that “ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” Vulture reports. “I hope it was a step forward,” he continued, saying the experience “made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person.”
“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,” he said.
Ansari had previously returned to stand-up comedy but in recent sets did not delve into the scandal, although he joked about “newly woke white people” and scenes on sitcoms that would be considered sexual harassment today, as reported by The Cut.
Although Ansari mostly kept a serious tone when discussing the allegations on Monday, he did incorporate them into one bit. Vulture reports that Ansari told a joke about a fan confusing him with fellow comedian Hasan Minhaj — when asked if he was the one accused of sexual misconduct, he told the fan: “No, no, no, no, no, no, that’s Hasan!” Brendan Morrow