During a stand-up set in New York City on Monday, Aziz Ansari mentioned that the sexual misconduct allegation against him made him feel “humiliated,” but that he hopes the situation made him “become a better person,” according to Vulture.
In 2018, an article on Babe.net gave the account of a woman who went on a date with Ansari but felt pressured into sexual activity despite her verbal and physical cues of discomfort.
On stage, to an audience of about 200, Ansari said he needed time to think through what he wanted to say, because the incident was “a terrifying thing to talk about.”
“There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” he said during the pop-up show. “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.”
The “Master of None” actor also noted the potential positive outcomes of the situation after a male friend told Ansari that his story made him rethink every date he’s been on.
“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,” Ansari remarked.
The comedian, 35, said he also gained a new appreciation for being on stage, as “there was a moment where I was scared that I’d never be able to do this again.”
The Monday set marked Ansari’s second public acknowledgement of his sexual misconduct allegations. He previously released a statement last January saying that while he felt the sexual activity was “completely consensual,” the woman’s concerns over text made him rethink his actions.
“It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned,” the statement read. “I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”