Now Golden Globe winner Aziz Ansari gets accused of sexual assault

The allegations raise serious questions over the future of the award-winning show, Master of None.

 |  5-minute read |   14-01-2018
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Barely days after winning 2018's Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Comedy, Master Of None's Indian-orgin star Aziz Ansari finds himself in the midst of a storm that sees him being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in September 2017. The allegation definitely takes the sheen off what has been a great start to the year for the actor in which he became the first Asian to win the prestigious award.

In an article published by the online publication, Babe, a 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer has come forward with details of the alleged incident that took place nearly four months ago in New York City. The woman, whose identity has not been revealed and is introduced as "Grace" provides the account of her horrific date with Ansari which ended with her being allegedly assaulted sexually.

How it started

According to the article, the two met when Grace approached him after she noticed Ansari taking pictures at the 2017 Emmy awards after-party with an old film camera. Recounting her meeting she said: “I stood up, and I’m like tipsy at this point and feeling really confident. I’m in a gown, and I walked up to Aziz and said, ‘What’d you just shoot with?’”

As it turns out, both Aziz and Grace – then aged 22 – had brought the same kind of cameras to the event – an old model from the 80s. This coincidence helped them hit things off and saw Grace later typing in her number in the actor's phone at his suggestion.

As per the report, the two exchanged "flirtatious texts" over a week or so before Ansari finally asked her to go out on a date. However, as it turns out, the date didn't go as planned and the night ended with Grace heading home alone in an Uber with tears in her eyes and messaging her friends about what she later described as "by far the worst experience with a man I've ever had”.

Recalling the events of the night, Grace recounts how the successful TV actor and a self-proclaimed feminist, took the young photographer back to his place after a short dinner and allegedly made sexual advances on her. The two initially kissed, but when Grace asked him to"slow down" Aziz instead responded by saying "Where do you want me to f**k you?"

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The next day

Even as the 22-year-old photographer was busy processing what had just happened to her, the day after their date, Ansari reached out to Grace. In a text message, he wrote:

“It was fun meeting you last night.” Grace, however, took the opportunity to make matters clear and replied: “I just want to take this moment to make you aware of your behaviour and how uneasy it made me... Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me... You ignored clear non-verbal clues; you kept going with advances... I want to make sure you’re aware so maybe the next girl doesn’t have to cry on the ride home."

Though Ansari responded to Grace's text with an apology mentioning that he "clearly misread things in the moment" it was clear the damage was well and truly done. 

Ansari's support for 'Time's up' brought back memories

As Grace explains, the text exchange was the last time she interacted with Ansari but seeing the actor win at the Golden Globes and wear the "Time’s Up" pin while accepting the award brought the events from the horrific night back to her mind. “It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award... And absolutely cringe-worthy that he was wearing the Time’s Up pin. I think that started a new fire, and it kind of made it more real.”

Social media fallout

For now, Ansari remains mum on the issue, but even as the actor has chosen to not respond to the allegations, many have taken up to social media to point out how the particular incident shows just how quickly the lines between consent and assault blur even in cases of consensual sexual encounters.

What next?

The allegations, though still unproven, do raise serious questions over the future of the Golden Globe-winning show, Master of None.

Netflix, which recently axed Kevin Spacey from the award-winning show, House of Cards, over allegations of sexual misconduct and pulled the plug on a comedy special from Louis CK after he was accused of sexual misconduct with women, could very well put Master of None through the sharp end of the same axe or terminate Ansari's contract with the production house. 

Either, way, the story only represents trouble for Master of None and for Ansari who had just begun to make a mark in the industry. 

Also read: How real can reality shows get: Top 5 controversies of Bigg Boss 11

Writer

Sushant Talwar Sushant Talwar @sushanttalwar

Tech journalist, DailyO

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