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Unlike Louis C.K. , who has so far refused to meaningfully address in his comedy routine his public downfall after sexual misconduct accusations, Aziz Ansari is now talking about the date he had a year ago that nearly ruined his career. The events of the night went viral after the woman penned an essay for Babe.net saying she felt sexually violated by the comic over the course of the evening.
Ansari wasn’t angry while discussing the allegation a year later, just thoughtful and straightforward.
During a recent “pop-up” show at the Village Underground in New York, which 18,000 people tried to snag a seat to, he tried out some material for an upcoming tour — then brought up the #MeToo moment that nearly ruined his career.
The reason he hadn’t spoken publicly about “the whole thing” much was because he had to first process what had happened. “It’s a terrifying thing to talk about,” he told the audience. “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.”
He explained he thought back on dates with women he’d been on, and his friends did as well, reflecting on their past behavior. “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,” he said.
The second thing it did was make him appreciate how much he loves doing standup.
“I think it also just gave me perspective on my life,” he said. “There was a moment where I was scared that I’d never be able to do this again … 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. You did all this s--t just to hear me talk for an hour and some change, and it means the world to me, so thank you so much.”
He ended his set with a meaningful “thank you” and a goodnight. Take a note, Louis C.K.
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