Aziz Ansari: Advocate or Assailant?

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Aziz Ansari: Advocate or Assailant?

Art credits to Emma Bertram!

Art credits to Emma Bertram!

Art credits to Emma Bertram!

Art credits to Emma Bertram!

Sri Guttikonda ‘20

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The 2018 Golden Globes saw numerous celebrities, both women and men, wearing black attire and “Time’s Up” pins in order to support the hundreds of sexual assault victims that Hollywood’s biggest names abused. With new allegations every week against an actor, director, or producer, the public morbidly anticipated the next assailant. However, the nation experienced shock when Babe.net released a story accusing self-proclaimed feminist Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct [1]. Despite its single accusation—contrary to the typical multiple testaments of victims claiming the individual an abuser—society, now so used to the exposure of sexual abusers in the entertainment industry, jumped upon the story eagerly. After all, condemning a comedian who comments on the need for women’s social assertion has a sick irony that people find highly amusing.

Almost immediately, Aziz Ansari attempted to explain himself. He exclaims that “‘[he and the women] engag[ed] in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual,’” but that when he “‘heard that it was not the case for her, [he]was surprised and concerned’”[2]. With Ansari’s established reputation and calm response, people grew divided over the case. Most agree that Ansari’s inexcusable actions should have severe consequences for his future. However, others question the validity of “Grace” (the victim) and the Babe.net article, since the accusation garnered both the literary outlet and the victim enormous attention. When asked about where she stands on the matter, Khushi Kumar ‘20 asserts that “it is understandable that there are differing opinions, but it’s important to focus on the hypocrisy and the fact that people who support movements do not have a free pass.”

This brings up the idea of sexual predators hiding behind the #MeToo or Time’s Up campaigns and emphasizes the philosophy that society should not disregard the supporters of these movements. None should judge the validation of the accusations against Aziz Ansari simply from the fact that he proclaims himself a feminist and speaks for women’s rights. Sadly, most assume that his activism for women’s rights and his kind hearted personality eliminates the possibility of such inexcusable behavior. This makes the issue an even more painful situation; it not only casts a shadow on the intentions on self proclaimed feminists, but also on these movements as a whole. Movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up give an opportunity for privileged individuals to prove their morality. Thus, allegations against people who openly support these campaigns only reduces their credibility. Ashna Gupta ‘21 exclaims, however, that “there is an opposing side that people fail to address. Even though Aziz Ansari could be a hypocrite, it can not be confirmed because these allegations could be false. People are ready to accuse him, without even considering the opposite, especially with the amount of allegations in the air at this time.”

Whether or not Aziz Ansari is a pretentious pietist, we do not know. But sexual predators in the form of feminists is a definite possibility, and it’s important to recognize these individuals and even more important to notice and help the actual victims of sexual assault.

 

[1]https://babe.net/2018/01/13/aziz-ansari-28355

[2]https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/1/17/16897440/aziz-ansari-allegations-babe-me-too\

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Aziz Ansari: Advocate or Assailant?