Aziz Ansari Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegation in Netflix Special: ‘I Just Felt Terrible’

Aziz Ansari delivered a sobering reflection on the 2018 sexual misconduct allegation against him in Netflix’s “Aziz Ansari Right Now,” the comedian’s first stand-up special since the accusation was published. The Spike Jonze-directed special became available for streaming on Netflix Tuesday.

Ansari began the show by telling the audience, “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. And after a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward.”

In 2018, an anonymous accuser claimed in a story published to Babe.net that Ansari had pressured her into sexual acts. Ansari responded with an apology and claimed the encounter was “completely consensual.”

The comedian acknowledged the seriousness of the allegation in his intro: “I know this isn’t the most hilarious way to begin a comedy show, but it’s important to me that you know how I feel about that whole thing before we share this night together.”

He peppered in jokes in his opening remarks as well. Ansari riffed about how he gets confused with comedian Hasan Minhaj, and joked that when fans ask about the sexual misconduct accusation, he deflects by responding, “No, no, no, no, no. That was Hasan.”

At the show’s close, Ansari brought the routine back to introspection on last year’s accusation. He said, “I saw the world where I don’t ever get to do this again, and it almost felt like I died. In a way, I did. That old Aziz who said, ‘oh treat yo self’ or whatever, he’s dead. And I’m glad. ‘Cause that guy was always looking forward to whatever was next. I don’t think that way anymore. ‘Cause I’ve realized it’s all ephemeral. All that stuff, it can just go away like this. And all we really have is the moment we’re in and the people we’re with.”

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