You’re going to get a lot of “think pieces” from hack writers trying to project their own personal feelings about Aziz Ansari’s newest Netflix special “Right Now” over the next couple of weeks.
You’ll see a lot of berating of the young stand-up comedian because of his sexual misconduct allegation approximately a year ago.
But Aziz’s newest stand-up on Netflix is not only thought-provoking about the allegations against him; it’s simultaneously hilarious as well.
In June 2018, a scathing piece in an online magazine called babe.net went viral. The topic was of “Parks & Recreation” actor and stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari.
It was simply titled, “I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life.” The gravity of those two sentences alone are enough to make you read the entirety of the piece.
Authored by Katie Way (not the accuser), she goes into great detail about aggressive tactics Ansari used on a night out with the accuser. It was heinous. It was vile. It was any synonym you could possibly fathom.
One of the lines in it reads, “The date didn’t go as planned. The night would end with Grace in an Uber home, in tears, messaging her friends about how Ansari behaved. Babe spoke to the first friends she told about it, and reviewed the messages on her phone.
The day after the incident, she wrote a long text to Ansari, saying: ‘I just want to take this moment to make you aware of [your] behavior and how uneasy it made me.’ To that message, Ansari responds: ‘Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.’”
What would ensue over the course of the night was Ansari psychologically manipulating the accuser into sex – as if he used his celebrity as a sort of hypnosis over the young 22-year-old at the time.
You have to put things into perspective and put it on a spectrum of guilt as well. What Harvey Weinstein allegedly did was far worse than what Louis CK allegedly did; and what Louis CK allegedly did was far worse than what Aziz Ansari was accused of. If the allegations are true of Ansari’s behavior; was it atrocious? Absolutely.
Should he be forgiven? That’s probably a conversation for them, but in the scheme of things, now feels like a good time to forgive him. And he said as such in his first stand-up special since the accusation.
He opened with, “I haven’t said much about that whole thing, um, but I’ve talked about it on this tour,” he says, sitting on a stool on stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. “There’s times I felt scared. There’s times I felt humiliated. There’s times I felt embarrassed. And ultimately, I just felt terrible that this person felt this way.” That’s basically a way of saying, “that’s not how I remember the night.”
This kind of mob-mentality culture is prominent right now. Look no further than the four year old civil case that was thrown out about things President Trump said about a 13-year-old girl to billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
But most critics have said Ansari’s approach was disingenuous, but it did seem sincere considering what followed and how he ended his latest special. Ansari seemed grateful. He seemed like he was doing the thing he was born to do.
At one point he said, “After a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward. It moved things forward for me and made me think about a lot. I hope I’ve become a better person.”
If you even Google Ansari’s name you’re going to be hit with all sorts of writers who are curious about whether he should be forgiven. It’s not their call to make. It’s the call of the woman accuser and anybody who spends their hard-earned money to see him perform. And the house was full so that should clue you in on where most people stand on the issue.
Should we disgrace people forever or recognize that this person truly has changed and give them a second shot at what they’re good at? It’s probably the latter.