Aziz Ansari Finally Addresses #MeToo Allegation on Stage

More than a year after he released his one and only statement responding to a sexual-misconduct allegation made against him—he maintained that the encounter was “completely consensual”—comedian Aziz Ansari finally opened up about the experience during a set for about 200 fans at the Village Underground club in New York on Monday night. During the show, billed as a “pop-up” event outside of his larger theater tour, Ansari explained that he waited so long to discuss what happened onstage because “it’s a terrifying thing to talk about,” adding “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.”

In addition to thoughtful reflections like those and others, Ansari did find a way to make jokes about his new public perception as an offender in the #MeToo movement. After telling the crowd that he was recently mistaken for another Indian-American comic with a Netflix show, Hasan Minhaj, he reportedly acted out his interaction with the confused fan: “‘Oh, no, Aziz, right?’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me. ‘Master of None!’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me. ‘Parks and Rec!’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me. ‘Treat yourself!’ Yeah, yeah, that’s me. ‘And you had the whole thing come out last year—sexual misconduct?’ No, no, no, no, no, no, that’s Hasan!”