Aziz Ansari said at a standup show Monday in New York that a sexual misconduct allegation was humiliating, but he hopes he’s become better since.
It was the comedian and actor’s first public discussion of the issue since a written statement in the immediate aftermath of a story in January 2018 on the website Babe.net in which an unidentified accuser wrote that Ansari acted improperly on a date.
Vulture reports that Ansari told a crowd of about 200 at the Village Underground that it was a “terrifying” topic.
“There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way. But you know, after a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person.”
Ansari says he has thought a lot about the issue in the past year. “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.”
“And I think it also just gave me perspective on my life.” Ansari said. “There was a moment where I was scared that I’d never be able to do this (comedy) again.”
As his show came to an end he said “Thanks so much!” to the audience and added, “But now, I really mean it. I mean it on a different level.”
“You canceled whatever you were supposed to do tonight, and you came out in the cold, and you waited in line, and you put your phone in a stupid pouch (Yondr pouches at stand-up shows to keep the audience off their phones). You did all this shit just to hear me talk for an hour and some change, and it means the world to me, so thank you so much.”