Aziz Ansari Announces First Tour Dates Since Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Aziz Ansari is slowly — and maybe cautiously — coming back into the spotlight. The Master of None star and co-creator took to his social media handles to announce that he is going on tour. The new stand-up tour called “Road to Nowhere…

Aziz Ansari is slowly — and maybe cautiously — coming back into the spotlight. The Master of None star and co-creator took to his social media handles to announce that he is going on tour. The new stand-up tour called “Road to Nowhere” is the first tour after Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct earlier this year. “New tour dates for 2019. On sale this week. Click here for cities. See ya on the road ding dongs,” he tweeted Tuesday. He also posted the news on his…

Mike Schur Says He’d Still Work With Aziz Ansari: We Have to ‘All Keep Trying’

Mike Schur collaborated with actor Aziz Ansari for the full seven-season run of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” And following an accusation of sexual misconduct posed against Ansari last year, “The Good Place” creator says he’d still work with him, noting “the important thing to me is that we all keep trying.”

Last year, Schur apologized for having comedian Louis C.K. — who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women — guest star on “Parks and Rec,” after having heard rumors about his behavior. The case is not the same with Ansari.

“Well, you know. (Laughs) The answer is yes, I would,” Schur told the Daily Beast, in an interview published Friday, when asked if he’d reteam with Ansari.

Also Read: Louis CK’s Latest NYC Stand-Up Show Sparks Angry Protests

“And the tricky thing about all of this stuff is this kind of national reckoning that the entertainment industry has finally had with itself — or at least has begun to have, I would say — we’re far from actually having the complete, sort of thought process and emotional processing that is required. There was a lot of dust and a lot of that dust has now settled a little bit, and now it’s time for everybody to really think hard and reflect and change and grow and do all of that stuff that is required to heal,” he said.

“And I’m not talking about any one person or group of people. The initial revelation of how prevalent all of these things are is over. And now it’s phase two. Phase two is going to be equally tough and hard and it’s going to require a lot of emotional turmoil and thought processes and investigations and all that stuff. And I am happy that it’s happening. I’m excited for it to happen.”

Also Read: Retta ‘Didn’t Appreciate’ Sexual Misconduct Accusations Against Aziz Ansari

Schur added that his “personal feelings about all of these people are not really super relevant” or at least “way lower on the ladder of importance than a lot of other people’s feelings and thoughts about them.”

“But it’s weird, this question brings us all the way back to the beginning,” Schur continued. “Because the important thing to me is that we all keep trying. Like, so much of this stuff happened in part because no one wanted to confront it or think about it or deal with it or raise their hand and say, this is happening and this is real. And that part of the problem and that sort of calcified system is over, which is good. Now we get to start saying, ‘OK, now that we know about this, let’s talk about it.’ And the only thing you can do is to keep trying to sort through it and figure it out.”

Schur concluded: “The cure for any bad behavior, any systematic bad behavior, any calcified bad behavior, is to be like, ‘sorry’! We just gotta keep talking about it. I know it’s exhausting. But think about how exhausting it was for people when no one would talk about it. That’s how I feel about all of this stuff.”

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Mike Schur collaborated with actor Aziz Ansari for the full seven-season run of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” And following an accusation of sexual misconduct posed against Ansari last year, “The Good Place” creator says he’d still work with him, noting “the important thing to me is that we all keep trying.”

Last year, Schur apologized for having comedian Louis C.K. — who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women — guest star on “Parks and Rec,” after having heard rumors about his behavior. The case is not the same with Ansari.

“Well, you know. (Laughs) The answer is yes, I would,” Schur told the Daily Beast, in an interview published Friday, when asked if he’d reteam with Ansari.

“And the tricky thing about all of this stuff is this kind of national reckoning that the entertainment industry has finally had with itself — or at least has begun to have, I would say — we’re far from actually having the complete, sort of thought process and emotional processing that is required. There was a lot of dust and a lot of that dust has now settled a little bit, and now it’s time for everybody to really think hard and reflect and change and grow and do all of that stuff that is required to heal,” he said.

“And I’m not talking about any one person or group of people. The initial revelation of how prevalent all of these things are is over. And now it’s phase two. Phase two is going to be equally tough and hard and it’s going to require a lot of emotional turmoil and thought processes and investigations and all that stuff. And I am happy that it’s happening. I’m excited for it to happen.”

Schur added that his “personal feelings about all of these people are not really super relevant” or at least “way lower on the ladder of importance than a lot of other people’s feelings and thoughts about them.”

“But it’s weird, this question brings us all the way back to the beginning,” Schur continued. “Because the important thing to me is that we all keep trying. Like, so much of this stuff happened in part because no one wanted to confront it or think about it or deal with it or raise their hand and say, this is happening and this is real. And that part of the problem and that sort of calcified system is over, which is good. Now we get to start saying, ‘OK, now that we know about this, let’s talk about it.’ And the only thing you can do is to keep trying to sort through it and figure it out.”

Schur concluded: “The cure for any bad behavior, any systematic bad behavior, any calcified bad behavior, is to be like, ‘sorry’! We just gotta keep talking about it. I know it’s exhausting. But think about how exhausting it was for people when no one would talk about it. That’s how I feel about all of this stuff.”

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Vice News Correspondent Antonia Hylton Says Sexism Is Rampant in ‘Messed Up’ News Industry

Antonia Hylton, a correspondent and producer for “VICE News Tonight,” says much of the sexism she’s faced as a black female reporter was out in the field, by men who frequently comment on her age and her hair.

“Many are still not used to sitting across from a black woman with natural hair,” Hylton told the audience at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Downtown Los Angeles Friday. “White men will comment on my hair and my age and it’s very clearly a tactic to lower my self-confidence before the interview begins.”

Hylton, known for fearless interviews of gang members on Chicago’s West Side, said she’s encountered sexism from her own colleagues at times.

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

“I’ve had cameramen and freelancers start working on projects who talk about the way that I look or the way  that I sound,” she said. “Those are the things that I find all the time in the industry that are still really messed up.”

Hylton spoke during a panel on “Women on the Front Lines,” moderated by former Glamour editor-in-chief  Cindi Leive. She was joined two of her fellow Vice correspondents Elle Reeve and Isobel Yeung.

“There is still a really fundamental problem in the way that people approach women,” Hylton told the audience. “They don’t think of them as being well-read, they don’t think of them as being able to ask really tough questions.”

Also Read: Zoe Saldana Started Social Activism Because She Felt ‘Ashamed’ of Her ‘Fear’ for Newborn Sons

Reeve, who rose to national prominence after covering the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said she too battled sexism while covering stories. Reeve recalled an interview with a man who owned a Confederate-themed dinosaur amusement park. At one point the man asked her to turn around, so he could “fix something.”

“He then proceeded to pick up a 15-foot octopus tentacle and touched my butt,” she said. “On camera!”

She said she thought he had hit her by accident until she screened the tapes later. Leive, the moderator, asked if it was sexual assault. Reeve answered that she wasn’t sure — until she watched the tape later.

“I was like, ‘Oh, O.K.. That’s what you did,” she said.

Yeung discussed her reporting on sexism and misogyny in a recent Vice special called “Consent.” She said she decided to focus on the issue after Babe.net published an interview with Grace, the pseudonym given to an unnamed woman who accused actor and comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct for not heeding her cues that she didn’t want to have sex with him.

“Is that just just bad sex? Is that rape?” she asked. “And that was the conversation I was having with my friends.”

Also Read: Time’s Up Defense Fund Founder Tina Tchen: ‘We Need Folks to Know They Can Be Protected’

“There just seemed to be so much noise on both sides of the debate and it seemed to be such a politicized partisan topic and I just really didn’t understand why,” Yeung said. “And so the goal of the documentary was to to break through that noise and to try and make something that contributed to that conversation.”

“It is one of those topics that has just not gone away,” she said.

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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Antonia Hylton, a correspondent and producer for “VICE News Tonight,” says much of the sexism she’s faced as a black female reporter was out in the field, by men who frequently comment on her age and her hair.

“Many are still not used to sitting across from a black woman with natural hair,” Hylton told the audience at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Downtown Los Angeles Friday. “White men will comment on my hair and my age and it’s very clearly a tactic to lower my self-confidence before the interview begins.”

Hylton, known for fearless interviews of gang members on Chicago’s West Side, said she’s encountered sexism from her own colleagues at times.

“I’ve had cameramen and freelancers start working on projects who talk about the way that I look or the way  that I sound,” she said. “Those are the things that I find all the time in the industry that are still really messed up.”

Hylton spoke during a panel on “Women on the Front Lines,” moderated by former Glamour editor-in-chief  Cindi Leive. She was joined two of her fellow Vice correspondents Elle Reeve and Isobel Yeung.

“There is still a really fundamental problem in the way that people approach women,” Hylton told the audience. “They don’t think of them as being well-read, they don’t think of them as being able to ask really tough questions.”

Reeve, who rose to national prominence after covering the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said she too battled sexism while covering stories. Reeve recalled an interview with a man who owned a Confederate-themed dinosaur amusement park. At one point the man asked her to turn around, so he could “fix something.”

“He then proceeded to pick up a 15-foot octopus tentacle and touched my butt,” she said. “On camera!”

She said she thought he had hit her by accident until she screened the tapes later. Leive, the moderator, asked if it was sexual assault. Reeve answered that she wasn’t sure — until she watched the tape later.

“I was like, ‘Oh, O.K.. That’s what you did,” she said.

Yeung discussed her reporting on sexism and misogyny in a recent Vice special called “Consent.” She said she decided to focus on the issue after Babe.net published an interview with Grace, the pseudonym given to an unnamed woman who accused actor and comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct for not heeding her cues that she didn’t want to have sex with him.

“Is that just just bad sex? Is that rape?” she asked. “And that was the conversation I was having with my friends.”

“There just seemed to be so much noise on both sides of the debate and it seemed to be such a politicized partisan topic and I just really didn’t understand why,” Yeung said. “And so the goal of the documentary was to to break through that noise and to try and make something that contributed to that conversation.”

“It is one of those topics that has just not gone away,” she said.

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap's Power Women Summit to Talk Men's Role in Gender Equity

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Louis C.K. Faces Twitter Backlash After Return To Stand-Up Stage, Raising Questions About #MeToo Road To Redemption

Comedian Louis C.K. has faced an avalanche of criticism on Twitter since dropping in at New York’s famed Comedy Cellar on Monday night for a surprise 15-minute set.
The outrage over the comedian re-taking the stage after nine months of seclusion …

Comedian Louis C.K. has faced an avalanche of criticism on Twitter since dropping in at New York’s famed Comedy Cellar on Monday night for a surprise 15-minute set. The outrage over the comedian re-taking the stage after nine months of seclusion included scathing comments from industry figures like Kathy Griffin, who knows a bit about controversy and comedy. Critics of C.K.’s return — who, naturally, soon spiraled into sparring matches with opponents defending the…

Netflix is ready for more Master of None “when Aziz is ready”

This weekend at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Netflix VP Cindy Holland was asked about one of of the shows on the company’s roster, and if it had considered the sensitivity with which it might handle its potential return. Hollan…

This weekend at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Netflix VP Cindy Holland was asked about one of of the shows on the company’s roster, and if it had considered the sensitivity with which it might handle its potential return. Holland was surprisingly direct in her reply:

Read more...

Donald Trump Jr. Compares Aziz Ansari to Roseanne, Complains ‘Rules’ Apply ‘One Way’

Donald Trump Jr. accused Hollywood again of having a double standard for conservatives and liberals, using Roseanne Barr and Aziz Ansari as his latest example.

“I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit to give Rosanne and other conservatives a second chance… right? Yet another example of the rules only applying one way. At least they’re consistent. Take note,” Trump Jr. wrote on his Twitter account Monday.

I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit to give Rosanne and other conservatives a second chance… right? Yet another example of the rules only applying one way. At least they’re consistent. Take note. https://t.co/hYd7GG3aib

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 30, 2018

Trump Jr. was referencing comments made by Netflix VP of Original Content Cindy Holland on Sunday, who said the streaming giant has “certainly given some thought” to a third season of Ansari’s “Master of None.”

“We would be happy to make another season of ‘Master of None’ when Aziz is ready,” Holland said.

The exec was responding to a question on whether Netflix would pick up another season of the show with Ansari, after a woman wrote last year she “felt violated” after going on a date with the comedian. Ansari said he believed the encounter was consensual, but that was “surprised and concerned” and “took her words to heart” in response to the article.

Barr meanwhile, saw her show, “Roseanne,” canceled by ABC after she sent out a racially-charged tweet about former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Netflix, which as of this writing is not owned by ABC parent company Disney and remains a separate company, has no connection to ABC’s “Roseanne.” Netflix was therefore not involved in any ABC-Disney decision-making about Roseanne Barr.

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Donald Trump Jr. accused Hollywood again of having a double standard for conservatives and liberals, using Roseanne Barr and Aziz Ansari as his latest example.

“I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit to give Rosanne and other conservatives a second chance… right? Yet another example of the rules only applying one way. At least they’re consistent. Take note,” Trump Jr. wrote on his Twitter account Monday.

Trump Jr. was referencing comments made by Netflix VP of Original Content Cindy Holland on Sunday, who said the streaming giant has “certainly given some thought” to a third season of Ansari’s “Master of None.”

“We would be happy to make another season of ‘Master of None’ when Aziz is ready,” Holland said.

The exec was responding to a question on whether Netflix would pick up another season of the show with Ansari, after a woman wrote last year she “felt violated” after going on a date with the comedian. Ansari said he believed the encounter was consensual, but that was “surprised and concerned” and “took her words to heart” in response to the article.

Barr meanwhile, saw her show, “Roseanne,” canceled by ABC after she sent out a racially-charged tweet about former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Netflix, which as of this writing is not owned by ABC parent company Disney and remains a separate company, has no connection to ABC’s “Roseanne.” Netflix was therefore not involved in any ABC-Disney decision-making about Roseanne Barr.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Netflix 'Would Be Happy' to Do More 'Master of None' – 'When Aziz Is Ready'

GLAAD Awards: 'Master of None,' 'This Is Us' Take Top Prizes

'The Good Cop': Tony Danza Bad-Cops Son Josh Groban in First Trailer for Netflix Dramedy (Video)

Netflix Wants Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master of None’ to Return for Season 3, Originals Chief Says

Netflix wants to continue Aziz Ansari’s half-hour series “Master None.” “We certainly have given some thought to it it,” Netflix head of original content Cindy Holland said Sunday at the Television Critics Association&#821…

Netflix wants to continue Aziz Ansari’s half-hour series “Master None.” “We certainly have given some thought to it it,” Netflix head of original content Cindy Holland said Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour when asked if the company would consider continuing “Master of None.” “We certainly would be happy to make another […]

Netflix ‘Would Be Happy’ to Do More ‘Master of None’ – ‘When Aziz Is Ready’

If Aziz Ansari is down for another season of “Master of None,” so is Netflix.

That’s according to Netflix VP of Original Content Cindy Holland, who said the streaming giant has “certainly given some thought” to a third season of the Emmy-winning comedy.

“We would be happy to make another season of ‘Master of None’ when Aziz is ready,” Holland said while speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday.

Also Read: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill Limited Series ‘Maniac’ Sets Netflix Release Date

The exec was responding to a question on whether Netflix would pick up another season of the show with Ansari, after a woman wrote last year she “felt violated” after going on a date with the comedian. Ansari said he was “surprised and concerned” and “took her words to heart” in response to the article.

“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue,” added Ansari.

Aziz created, wrote, directed and starred in the comedy that netted him and co-writer Lena Waithe an Emmy last year for writing.

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If Aziz Ansari is down for another season of “Master of None,” so is Netflix.

That’s according to Netflix VP of Original Content Cindy Holland, who said the streaming giant has “certainly given some thought” to a third season of the Emmy-winning comedy.

“We would be happy to make another season of ‘Master of None’ when Aziz is ready,” Holland said while speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday.

The exec was responding to a question on whether Netflix would pick up another season of the show with Ansari, after a woman wrote last year she “felt violated” after going on a date with the comedian. Ansari said he was “surprised and concerned” and “took her words to heart” in response to the article.

“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue,” added Ansari.

Aziz created, wrote, directed and starred in the comedy that netted him and co-writer Lena Waithe an Emmy last year for writing.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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‘Master of None’: Netflix Would Still Make a Season 3 ‘Whenever Aziz is Ready’

TCA: VP of Original Series Cindy Holland also explained no decision has been made on bringing back Jeffrey Tambor for another “Arrested Development” season.

The door to another season of “Master of None” is not shut.

Speaking to the Television Critics Association on Sunday, VP of Original Series Cindy Holland explained that the streaming service is still open to creating more episodes of the show, should writer/creator/star Aziz Ansari want to bring the show back for a Season 3.

“We certainly have given some thought to it and would be happy to make another season of ‘Master of None’ whenever Aziz is ready,” Holland said.

The second season of the series, which follows Ansari’s Dev Shah through his romantic ups and downs on opposite sides of the Atlantic, was released to great critical acclaim in 2017. In January 2018, however, sexual misconduct allegations were brought forth against Ansari, claims which Ansari denied.

During the session, Holland was also asked about whether specific attention would be paid to the on-set environments of Netflix shows in general. “Our first priority is to make sure that every set is safe and happy and healthy for everyone involved,” was her answer. “Certainly, events of the past year have even created more heightened awareness around any potential issues that might happen on set.”

Following the session, Holland told reporters that while Netflix is open to Ansari’s return, she has yet to speak directly to the star/creator about his plans. In addition, in regards to another performer on a Netflix series accused of inappropriate on-set behavior, Holland said that no decision had yet been reached on whether or not Jeffrey Tambor would be considered for a future season of “Arrested Development.”

24 Stand-Up Comedians Turned Auteurs, From Donald Glover to Bo Burnham (Photos)

Unless you’re Jerry Seinfeld, the number of stand-up comedians today who thrive and achieve stardom solely fro their on-stage comedy is dwindling. There’s a long history of people who got their start in stand-up comedy only to find another …

Unless you’re Jerry Seinfeld, the number of stand-up comedians today who thrive and achieve stardom solely fro their on-stage comedy is dwindling. There’s a long history of people who got their start in stand-up comedy only to find another gear and level of artistry once they turned to filmmaking, including Mike Nichols, Woody Allen, Albert Brooks, Elaine May and more. But today, in the post “Louie” era of TV, many comics have tried to brand themselves as more, developing highly personal TV shows, films and pet projects that they often write, direct, produce and star in themselves. The latest such is example is Bo Burnham, whose debut film “Eighth Grade” opens this weekend after winning acclaim at Sundance. Here are some other comedians who have followed his same path.

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” isn’t entirely autobiographical, but it’s wholly an expression of his love of food, culture, European cinema and the finer things in life. His real-life parents even star on the show.

Marc Maron

He’s most well known for his “WTF” podcast, but Marc Maron also had a show called “Maron” that ran for four seasons on IFC that hemmed closely to his experience as a stand-up comedian and explored his neuroses in ways he’s come to be known for on-stage and in his monologues opening “WTF.”

Bo Burnham

Still just 27 but a comedian for over a decade, Burnham directed and wrote the pre-teen coming-of-age story “Eighth Grade.” But he has a knack for doing it all, as he’s also a songwriter, an actor most notably in “The Big Sick” and a poet.

Pamela Adlon

After first having Louis C.K.’s name all over the first season of “Better Things,” Pamela Adlon has made the excellent “Better Things” entirely her own, going to surprising places in her stories about being a working, single parent of three girls.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen has been a prolific filmmaker for so long that it’s almost easy to forget that he gained fame as a stand-up as far back as the mid 1960s.

Donald Glover

It’s possible Donald Glover would’ve never been able to make the video for “This is America” as Childish Gambino if it weren’t for exploring his style, his roots, and the stranger side of his personality as the creator of his groundbreaking series “Atlanta.”

Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele’s today one of the hottest directors in Hollywood after his debut feature “Get Out.” He’s currently working on his follow-up “Us” starring Elisabeth Moss and Lupita Nyong’o.

Retta ‘Didn’t Appreciate’ Sexual Misconduct Accusations Against Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari’s former co-star Retta “didn’t appreciate” the sexual misconduct accusations made against the actor and says she “didn’t think he was an a–hole.”

“I’m not going to judge [Grace], because I don’t know her,” Retta told Vulture. “I know personally–I had this conversation specifically with one of my good girlfriends, and she was like, ‘I don’t know how this is a story. I didn’t get it.’ I don’t want to get into it. I didn’t like it. Because I’m the first person to be like, ‘F— that mother f—er. He’s an a–hole. He’s a f—ing a–hole.’ And I didn’t think he was an a–hole and I didn’t appreciate it.”

In January, an anonymous woman who was referred to as “Grace” gave an account to Babe.net of a date in which she said the “Master of None” star repeatedly pressured her for oral sex and intercourse, and at several points, ignored her “clear non-verbal cues.” She said she also told him at one point: “I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you.”

Also Read: ‘Silicon Valley’ Star Thomas Middleditch Calls Aziz Ansari Accusation ‘Absurd,’ Doesn’t Defend TJ Miller

Ansari said in a statement that during the date, they took part in sexual activity that to him was by “all indications was completely consensual.”

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” his statement continued. “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. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”

Also Read: Aziz Ansari Answers Accuser: ‘I Took Her Words to Heart’

Retta added that she’s been “on that date so many times.”

“I feel like a lot of people and a lot of other outlets were like, ‘Why did you even run this story?’ ” she said. “I’m giving my personal opinion, and I don’t want f—ing people coming at me. You know what I mean? But I feel like I’ve been on that date so many times. I was like, ‘If you haven’t been on that date twice, are you even living a life?’”

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Aziz Ansari’s former co-star Retta “didn’t appreciate” the sexual misconduct accusations made against the actor and says she “didn’t think he was an a–hole.”

“I’m not going to judge [Grace], because I don’t know her,” Retta told Vulture. “I know personally–I had this conversation specifically with one of my good girlfriends, and she was like, ‘I don’t know how this is a story. I didn’t get it.’ I don’t want to get into it. I didn’t like it. Because I’m the first person to be like, ‘F— that mother f—er. He’s an a–hole. He’s a f—ing a–hole.’ And I didn’t think he was an a–hole and I didn’t appreciate it.”

In January, an anonymous woman who was referred to as “Grace” gave an account to Babe.net of a date in which she said the “Master of None” star repeatedly pressured her for oral sex and intercourse, and at several points, ignored her “clear non-verbal cues.” She said she also told him at one point: “I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you.”

Ansari said in a statement that during the date, they took part in sexual activity that to him was by “all indications was completely consensual.”

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” his statement continued. “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. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”

Retta added that she’s been “on that date so many times.”

“I feel like a lot of people and a lot of other outlets were like, ‘Why did you even run this story?’ ” she said. “I’m giving my personal opinion, and I don’t want f—ing people coming at me. You know what I mean? But I feel like I’ve been on that date so many times. I was like, ‘If you haven’t been on that date twice, are you even living a life?'”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'SNL': Everyone Is Very Uncomfortable Discussing Aziz Ansari and #MeToo (Video)

Artie Lange Shreds Aziz Ansari and Louis CK Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

Samantha Bee Tackles #MeToo Backlash, Holding Men Like Aziz Ansari to a 'Higher Standard' (Video)

Retta ‘Doesn’t Appreciate’ the Sexual Misconduct Claim Against Aziz Ansari: ‘I Didn’t Think He Was an Asshole’

Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct in January by an anonymous woman claiming the comedian pressured her sexually during a date.

Aziz Ansari’s “Parks and Recreation” co-star Retta is coming to his defense following a sexual misconduct allegation made at the beginning of 2018. An anonymous woman spoke to Babe.net in January and accused Ansari of pressuring her sexually during a date, but Retta explained to Vulture that she did not think Ansari acted maliciously or like “an asshole” based on what the anonymous woman said occurred during her date with the comedian.

“I’m not going to judge [Grace], because I don’t know her,” Retta said. “I know personally—I had this conversation specifically with one of my good girlfriends, and she was like, ‘I don’t know how this is a story. I didn’t get it.’ I don’t want to get into it. I didn’t like it. Because I’m the first person to be like, ‘Fuck that mother fucker. He’s an asshole. He’s a fucking asshole.’ And I didn’t think he was an asshole and I didn’t appreciate it.”

Retta expressed confusion over the fact that the woman’s accusation was picked up by news outlets across the country. In the Babe.net article, the woman explained that she consented to Ansari’s requests because she felt pressured to do so based on his numerous attempts to get physical with her while they were at his apartment.

“I feel like a lot of people and a lot of other outlets were like, ‘Why did you even run this story?’ ” Retta said. “I’m giving my personal opinion, and I don’t want fucking people coming at me. You know what I mean? But I feel like I’ve been on that date so many times. I was like, ‘If you haven’t been on that date twice, are you even living a life?’”

Ansari has remained mostly out of the spotlight since the accusation was published in January. The actor’s fellow “Parks and Recreation” co-star Adam Scott told Vulture in March that Ansari was “doing great” months after the allegation was made, and Ansari recently made his first stand-up appearance when he showed up for a May 13 set at the Comedy Cellar in New York City.

Aziz Ansari Performs First Public Stand Up Set After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The “Master of None” creator tested out new material over the weekend at famed New York venue The Comedy Cellar, a favorite haunt of Louis C.K.

Aziz Ansari made his first stage appearance since being accused of sexual misconduct in January. According Brooklyn Vegan, the comedian performed multiple sets at The Comedy Cellar, a New York club favored by Louis C.K., who was accused of sexual misconduct in November of 2017. While Ansari’s appearance was not advertised, he reportedly performed multiple surprise drop-in sets from Wednesday to Sunday of last week. Topics covered included Starbucks, racism, millennials, as well as some crowd work. The comedian and “Master of None” creator has been keeping a low profile since the allegations initially broke.

On January 13, the website Babe.net published a firsthand account from an anonymous 23-year-old woman who said Ansari behaved inappropriately while on a September 2017 date with her. “I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz,” she said. “I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had,” she added. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault.”

Three days later, Ansari released a statement denying the allegations. “We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual,” he wrote. “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”

Multiple attendees wrote on social media about seeing Ansari perform. “I saw Aziz Anzari at the Comedy Cellar last night and if I told people this a year ago they’d be like ‘cool’ but now they’re like ‘oh,'” wrote one audience member. Another was more enthusiastic: “Finally got into the famous Comedy Cellar tonight in NYC! Tracy Morgan AND Aziz Ansari showed up unannounced to practice material!!! So happy.”

The comedian and DJ Cipha Sounds hosted a Sunday brunch event, and voiced support for Ansari, tweeting a photo and referring to him as “My Aziz.” Other performers on the Mother’s Day show included Gary Vider, Matthew Broussard, Emmy Blotnick, Chris Gethard, and Sean Patton. Tracy Morgan also performed at least once.

Bill Maher Asks Ronan Farrow If #MeToo Has Gone Too Far, Says Aziz Ansari Has ‘Suffered a Lot From It’ — Watch

He doesn’t think Ansari should be in the same category as Harvey Weinstein.

Bill Maher has once again expressed skepticism over the #MeToo movement. During an interview with Ronan Farrow, who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Harvey Weinstein, the “Real Time” host asked whether the likes of Aziz Ansari, Al Franken, and Garrison Keillor deserve to be lumped in the same category as someone like Harvey Weinstein.

“These were the big fish. These were the really bad people,” Maher said of Bill Cosby and his ilk. “Do you think there’s an excess in the movement that is causing backlash that’s hurting it? I’m thinking of people like Al Franken, Aziz Ansari, Garrison Keillor.”

Farrow responded by saying that he thinks “our culture has actually been pretty good, on the whole, about self-regulating.” He then turned to the example of Ansari: “I don’t think anyone saw that and said, ‘Oh, he’s Harvey Weinstein. This is a multiple rapist.”

“No, but he lost a lot,” Maher countered. “He’s not around anymore…I don’t think his show is on anymore.” (Maher is incorrect in this case, as “Master of None” has not been canceled.) “I think he suffered a lot from it.” Watch their full exchange below.

Lena Waithe Hopes the Aziz Ansari Sexual Misconduct Allegation ‘Educates Society About Consent’

The Emmy winner talks to Vanity Fair about what she hopes people take away from the sexual misconduct allegation against her friend.

Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari are friends and collaborators who won an Emmy together for writing on Ansari’s Netflix comedy series “Master of None,” so it’s understandable that addressing the allegation against Ansari is challenging for Waithe. Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a 23-year-old woman who spoke to Babe.net about a date she had with the comedian that allegedly turned inappropriate.

Waithe told KPCC’s The Frame earlier this year that the situation was not “black-and-white” and that she wasn’t going to choose sides. In a new profile by Vanity Fair, the writer and actress addresses the allegation only by stating what it is she hopes society takes away from the accusation against her friend.

Read More: Lena Waithe Isn’t Taking Sides Between Aziz Ansari and His Accuser: ‘It’s Not Always Black-and-White’

“At the end of the day, what I would hope comes out of this is that we as a society educate ourselves about what consent is—what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like,” Waithe said.”I think there are both men and women who are still trying to figure it out.”

“We need to be more attuned to each other, pay more attention to each other, in every scenario, and really make sure that, whatever it is we’re doing with someone else, they’re comfortable doing whatever that thing is, and that we’re doing it together,” she continued. “That’s just human kindness and decency.”

Waithe’s comment in Vanity Fair echoes the sentiment she expressed on KPCC’s The Frame. She said back in February that the best thing that could come out of the allegation against Ansari is a broader conversation about what is and what isn’t appropriate behavior.

“I think if we’re unwilling to have a dialogue we’re gonna continue to keep hitting our heads against the wall,” Waithe said. “We have to create codes of conduct. Those are things that we need. ’Cause also I think there’s an element of — how do you know if you’re breaking a rule if you aren’t aware of the rules? Or how do you know what appropriate behavior is if no one’s ever communicated to you what appropriate behavior is?”

Neither Netflix or Ansari have announced plans for “Master of None” Season 3. Waithe currently serves as the creator of the Showtime drama “The Chi,” which will return for a second season, and she can be seen on the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”

Adam Scott: Aziz Ansari ‘Is Doing Great’ in the Wake of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Scott and Ansari were cast members together on the acclaimed NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”

Aziz Ansari has been keeping an incredibly low profile since being accused of sexual misconduct in January, but his friend and former “Parks and Recreation” co-star Adam Scott says he’s doing great right now. During an interview with Vulture, Scott was asked whether or not he had spoken to Ansari about the allegations, to which Scott expressed concerns over talking about Ansari publicly for fear of his words being misconstrued.

“I don’t know what to say on the record about Aziz,” Scott said. “I don’t want to say anything that would be misconstrued. [Pauses.] I’ll say this: Aziz is doing great. He’s a great, lovely guy. How’s that?”

Insiders say Ansari has been staying out of the spotlight since the allegation was made by living overseas; there’s no word yet on if or when he might start working on a third season of “Master of None” for Netflix.

Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a 23-year-old woman who spoke to Babe.net about a date she had with the comedian that allegedly turned inappropriate. The woman alleges that Ansari pressured her into giving him oral sex at his New York apartment. Ansari released a statement shortly after the acusation was made in which he said everything that happened between them was “completely consensual.”

9 Times New York Times Editorial Made Everyone Freak Out

Bari Weiss: ‘We’re All Fascists Now’

The New York Times opinion editor set the Internet ablaze after going after college students who she said were trying to shut down free speech. Critics pointed to Weiss mistakenly linking two fake ANTIFA Twitter accounts.

David Brooks: ‘Girl I Want Your Body’

New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks offered his spin on the MeToo movement in November. But his attempt to speak the language of sex and passion led him to write some lines like “girl I want your body” and “sex is a gold nugget” and the Internet went nuts.

Bret Stephens’ Defense of Sorts” of Harvey Weinstein

The October, 2017 piece was actually titled “Weinstein and Our Culture of Enablers,” but Stephens couldn’t resist throwing in the trollish alternative headline into a tweeted description of the article — which promptly precipitated an Internet meltdown.

David Brooks Urges “Respect to Gun Owners” After Parkland, Florida Massacre 

David Brooks set passions aflame after urging “respect” for gun owners after 17 children were killed at a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points,” he wrote.

Quinn “Been Friends with Various Neo-nazis”  Norton

The New York Times got more than they bargained for when they hired tech writer Quinn Norton. Almost immediately after the news was announced old tweets began to emerge including where Norton said she had “been friends with various neo-nazis” and used the N word. The Times cut her loose just hours after she was hired.

Bari Weiss Attacks Aziz Ansari Accuser: ‘I’ll Get Crushed for This’

Weiss risked more wrath on the set of “Morning Joe” in January after blasting a woman who accused comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct. “It’s called bad sex,” she told Joe and Mika. “I’ll get crushed for saying this.”

Bari Weiss Quotes Hamilton: ‘Immigrants: We Get the Job Done”

Anti-Weiss Internet mobs were set ablaze after she tweeted out “Immigrants: we get the job done,” in response to Olympian Mirai Nagasu’s triple axel. Nagasu was born in California to immigrant parents and Twitter furiously dragged her for not paying sufficient deference to the decision.

James Bennet Diversifies the Times Opinion Pages 

Editorial Page Editor James Bennet has made it his mission to broaden editorial diversity on the Times newsroom. The initiative has often been rocky and the paper has been beset by online mobs and taregted leaks by Times employees unhappy with his changes.

David Brooks Sandwich-Shames Less Educated Friend

Perhaps most egregious of all in the mind of Internet warriors was Brooks’ confession in a July, 2017 column that he once took a friend “with only a high school degree” into a gourmet sandwich shop but decided to pull a quick switch for Mexican food after she appeared overwhelmed by words like Soppressata and Capicollo.

Related stories from TheWrap:

New York Times Editor Savaged for ‘We Are All Fascists’ Column: ‘Bari Weiss Should Be Fired’

New York Times Publishes and Swiftly Deletes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ in Headline

If LA Journalists Covered New York Like the New York Times Covers LA

New York Times Editor Blasts Aziz Ansari Accuser: ‘It’s Called Bad Sex’

Bari Weiss: ‘We’re All Fascists Now’

The New York Times opinion editor set the Internet ablaze after going after college students who she said were trying to shut down free speech. Critics pointed to Weiss mistakenly linking two fake ANTIFA Twitter accounts.

David Brooks: ‘Girl I Want Your Body’

New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks offered his spin on the MeToo movement in November. But his attempt to speak the language of sex and passion led him to write some lines like “girl I want your body” and “sex is a gold nugget” and the Internet went nuts.

Bret Stephens’ Defense of Sorts” of Harvey Weinstein

The October, 2017 piece was actually titled “Weinstein and Our Culture of Enablers,” but Stephens couldn’t resist throwing in the trollish alternative headline into a tweeted description of the article — which promptly precipitated an Internet meltdown.

David Brooks Urges “Respect to Gun Owners” After Parkland, Florida Massacre 

David Brooks set passions aflame after urging “respect” for gun owners after 17 children were killed at a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points,” he wrote.

Quinn “Been Friends with Various Neo-nazis”  Norton

The New York Times got more than they bargained for when they hired tech writer Quinn Norton. Almost immediately after the news was announced old tweets began to emerge including where Norton said she had “been friends with various neo-nazis” and used the N word. The Times cut her loose just hours after she was hired.

Bari Weiss Attacks Aziz Ansari Accuser: ‘I’ll Get Crushed for This’

Weiss risked more wrath on the set of “Morning Joe” in January after blasting a woman who accused comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct. “It’s called bad sex,” she told Joe and Mika. “I’ll get crushed for saying this.”

Bari Weiss Quotes Hamilton: ‘Immigrants: We Get the Job Done”

Anti-Weiss Internet mobs were set ablaze after she tweeted out “Immigrants: we get the job done,” in response to Olympian Mirai Nagasu’s triple axel. Nagasu was born in California to immigrant parents and Twitter furiously dragged her for not paying sufficient deference to the decision.

James Bennet Diversifies the Times Opinion Pages 

Editorial Page Editor James Bennet has made it his mission to broaden editorial diversity on the Times newsroom. The initiative has often been rocky and the paper has been beset by online mobs and taregted leaks by Times employees unhappy with his changes.

David Brooks Sandwich-Shames Less Educated Friend

Perhaps most egregious of all in the mind of Internet warriors was Brooks’ confession in a July, 2017 column that he once took a friend “with only a high school degree” into a gourmet sandwich shop but decided to pull a quick switch for Mexican food after she appeared overwhelmed by words like Soppressata and Capicollo.

Related stories from TheWrap:

New York Times Editor Savaged for 'We Are All Fascists' Column: 'Bari Weiss Should Be Fired'

New York Times Publishes and Swiftly Deletes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ in Headline

If LA Journalists Covered New York Like the New York Times Covers LA

New York Times Editor Blasts Aziz Ansari Accuser: 'It's Called Bad Sex'

Not OK, Cupid: How a Math Wizard Hacked Online Dating to Find Love (Podcast)

If you’ve tried without success to create the perfect online dating profile, maybe you’re being too honest… or not doing enough math.

This week on “Shoot This Now,” our podcast about stories that should be made into movies, we focus on a Wired story about mathematician Chris McKinlay, who hacked OK Cupid to find the woman of his dreams.

You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:



We’re joined this week by special guest Brian Welk, who talks about his own journey with online dating. We talk about how online dating apps can feel like video games, and how math can help — or hurt — the search for someone to share your life with.

Also Read: We Need to Talk About Dear David, the Internet’s Favorite Ghost Story (Podcast)

Is the goal to get as many people as possible to respond to your profile? Or to meet one special person?

We also talk about dating expert Francesca Hogi’s advice on how to create an online profile, and her review of the “Black Mirror” episode “Hang the DJ,” about the travails of modern romance. And we discuss the “Parks and Rec” episode that revealed Aziz Ansari’s character has a dating approach someone similar to McKinlay’s.

If you like the episode, feel free to share the podcast, however you like, with everyone you know.

Also Read: Cheat on Your Spouse at My House, Says Strange Man on Craigslist (Podcast)

If you like special guest Brian Welk, check out his film podcast, The News Reel. We love it.

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How White Jeans Changed One New Yorker’s Life (Podcast)

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Straight Comedian Barry Rothbart Explains His Job Filming Gay Nudists (Podcast)

That Time Brad Pitt Didn’t Play God for Steven Spielberg (Podcast)

If you’ve tried without success to create the perfect online dating profile, maybe you’re being too honest… or not doing enough math.

This week on “Shoot This Now,” our podcast about stories that should be made into movies, we focus on a Wired story about mathematician Chris McKinlay, who hacked OK Cupid to find the woman of his dreams.

You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:

We’re joined this week by special guest Brian Welk, who talks about his own journey with online dating. We talk about how online dating apps can feel like video games, and how math can help — or hurt — the search for someone to share your life with.

Is the goal to get as many people as possible to respond to your profile? Or to meet one special person?

We also talk about dating expert Francesca Hogi’s advice on how to create an online profile, and her review of the “Black Mirror” episode “Hang the DJ,” about the travails of modern romance. And we discuss the “Parks and Rec” episode that revealed Aziz Ansari’s character has a dating approach someone similar to McKinlay’s.

If you like the episode, feel free to share the podcast, however you like, with everyone you know.

If you like special guest Brian Welk, check out his film podcast, The News Reel. We love it.

Related stories from TheWrap:

How White Jeans Changed One New Yorker's Life (Podcast)

That Time Frank Sinatra Tried to Stop a Serial Killer (Podcast)

Straight Comedian Barry Rothbart Explains His Job Filming Gay Nudists (Podcast)

That Time Brad Pitt Didn't Play God for Steven Spielberg (Podcast)

‘Silicon Valley’ Star Thomas Middleditch Calls Aziz Ansari Accusation ‘Absurd,’ Doesn’t Defend TJ Miller

“Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch said that there’s a difference between sexual assault and “strange sex.”

“I thought the whole Aziz Ansari thing was kind of absurd,” he said, speaking with the A.V. Club. “Like, there’s a difference between assault and just kind of strange sex.”

Also Read: ‘Silicon Valley’ Star Zach Woods Talks T.J. Miller’s ‘Sad’ Exit, Jared’s Secret Friends

When asked whether the accusations against co-star T.J. Miller — who isn’t returning for Season 5 — were discussed on set at “Silicon Valley,” Middleditch said, “People who know him, sure, we chat about it.” But he also said he didn’t know enough about the situation to comment on it.

“Speaking as a guy, as a man, as a male human, it’s kind of scary, with this fervor that’s surrounding it, where an allegation can just pop up and then it’s really incumbent upon you to fervently defend your character,” he said. “I’m not gonna dive into what’s real or not. I’m just saying it’s a little bit scary.”

Middleditch added: “It is tricky, you know. It’s weird. It’s like we live in a world where currently the climate, let’s say, is where a j’accuse will really turn your world upside down.”

Also Read: ‘Silicon Valley’ Star T.J. Miller Accused of Smacking Uber Driver Over Trump

Middleditch said that he hopes the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up initiative don’t get “dismissed as leftist nonsense.”

He said that watching everyone comment on the movements during awards season is “tricky.”

“When everybody has something to say about it, it sometimes feels flippant, I suppose,” he said, adding that he worries some chime in beccause it’s a hot, popular topic. “So I want to make sure — which is a very cynical way of looking at it, I understand that — but I just want to make sure that all the movements that are really just and worthwhile aren’t sort of dismissed as leftist nonsense.”

Also Read: ‘SNL’: Everyone Is Very Uncomfortable Discussing Aziz Ansari and #MeToo (Video)

Miller was accused in December of sexually assaulting and punching a woman while they were at college together. He denied her accusations, saying in a statement with his wife that the accusations were meant to “discredit” them.

“We stand together in stating this is nothing more than an unfortunate resurgence of her lies designed to wreak havoc on two happily married people in the public eye,” the Millers’ statement read. “We stand together and will not allow this person to take advantage of a serious movement toward gender equality by allowing her to use this moment to muddy the water with an unrelated personal agenda.”

As for Ansari, an anonymous woman gave an account to Babe.net of a date in which she said the “Master of None” star repeatedly pressured her for oral sex and intercourse, and at several points ignored her “clear non-verbal cues.” She said she also told him at one point: “I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you.”

Also Read: Artie Lange Shreds Aziz Ansari and Louis CK Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

Ansari said in a statement that during the date, they took part in sexual activity that to him was by “all indications was completely consensual.”

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” his statement continued. “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. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”

“Sillicon Valley” returns to HBO in March.

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“Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch said that there’s a difference between sexual assault and “strange sex.”

“I thought the whole Aziz Ansari thing was kind of absurd,” he said, speaking with the A.V. Club. “Like, there’s a difference between assault and just kind of strange sex.”

When asked whether the accusations against co-star T.J. Miller — who isn’t returning for Season 5 — were discussed on set at “Silicon Valley,” Middleditch said, “People who know him, sure, we chat about it.” But he also said he didn’t know enough about the situation to comment on it.

“Speaking as a guy, as a man, as a male human, it’s kind of scary, with this fervor that’s surrounding it, where an allegation can just pop up and then it’s really incumbent upon you to fervently defend your character,” he said. “I’m not gonna dive into what’s real or not. I’m just saying it’s a little bit scary.”

Middleditch added: “It is tricky, you know. It’s weird. It’s like we live in a world where currently the climate, let’s say, is where a j’accuse will really turn your world upside down.”

Middleditch said that he hopes the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up initiative don’t get “dismissed as leftist nonsense.”

He said that watching everyone comment on the movements during awards season is “tricky.”

“When everybody has something to say about it, it sometimes feels flippant, I suppose,” he said, adding that he worries some chime in beccause it’s a hot, popular topic. “So I want to make sure — which is a very cynical way of looking at it, I understand that — but I just want to make sure that all the movements that are really just and worthwhile aren’t sort of dismissed as leftist nonsense.”

Miller was accused in December of sexually assaulting and punching a woman while they were at college together. He denied her accusations, saying in a statement with his wife that the accusations were meant to “discredit” them.

“We stand together in stating this is nothing more than an unfortunate resurgence of her lies designed to wreak havoc on two happily married people in the public eye,” the Millers’ statement read. “We stand together and will not allow this person to take advantage of a serious movement toward gender equality by allowing her to use this moment to muddy the water with an unrelated personal agenda.”

As for Ansari, an anonymous woman gave an account to Babe.net of a date in which she said the “Master of None” star repeatedly pressured her for oral sex and intercourse, and at several points ignored her “clear non-verbal cues.” She said she also told him at one point: “I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you.”

Ansari said in a statement that during the date, they took part in sexual activity that to him was by “all indications was completely consensual.”

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” his statement continued. “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. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”

“Sillicon Valley” returns to HBO in March.

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Thomas Middleditch Reacts to T.J. Miller Sexual Assault Claim, Thinks the Aziz Ansari Allegation is ‘Absurd’

“There’s a difference between assault and just kind of strange sex,” Middleditch told AV Club about the harassment allegation against Ansari.

Thomas Middleditch has somewhat broken his silence on the sexual assault allegations against his former “Silicon Valley” co-star T.J. Miller. Miller was accused of sexually assaulting a woman he went to college with in an interview with The Daily Beast published December 19. The woman says she was raped by Miller and that he became physically violent with her during sex. Middleditch tells AV Club that he doesn’t “know enough” abut the allegations to properly comment on them, but he still shared his thoughts on the matter.

“I think that’s the tricky thing with all this stuff,” Middleditch said. “Speaking as a guy, as a man, as a male human, it’s kind of scary, with this fervor that’s surrounding it, where an allegation can just pop up and then it’s really incumbent upon you to fervently defend your character. I’m not gonna dive into what’s real or not. I’m just saying it’s a little bit scary.”

Middleditch tried to elaborate on his point by briefly referencing the Aziz Ansari allegations, which he calls “kind of absurd.” Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous woman in January who described a date in which the comedian behaved inappropriately.

“I mean, I thought the whole Aziz Ansari thing was kind of absurd,” Middleditch said. “Like, there’s a difference between assault and just kind of strange sex. You don’t want to live in a world where it’s just so stiff that there’s no, I don’t know, something? I don’t know where I’m going with that, but I don’t really know enough about [the allegations against Miller] to comment on. Just don’t know about it, really. But it is tricky, you know. It’s weird. It’s like we live in a world where currently the climate, let’s say, is where a j’accuse will really turn your world upside down.”

Middleditch starred opposite Miller on HBO’s comedy series “Silicon Valley” for four seasons. Miller abruptly announced he’d be leaving the series following the season four finale last year. Middleditch will continue to lead the comedy when season five debuts March 25. The actor said Miller’s departure was “the right move” for the series.

“I think by the end everybody knew that that was the right move,” he said. “No one wants to be either on a show that they’re kind of ready to move on from, or around someone who’s on a show that they are ready to move on from. It just creates a bit of friction, and so I think it feels better and I bet everyone involved feels better. Yeah, so I think, to be honest, everybody involved is happier.”

Head over to AV Club to read Middleditch’s full interview.

Lena Waithe Isn’t Taking Sides Between Aziz Ansari and His Accuser: ‘It’s Not Always Black-and-White’

Waithe and Anzari won an Emmy together for writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None.”

Lena Waithe has broken her silence about the sexual misconduct allegations facing her friend and collaborator Aziz Ansari. In an interview with KPCC’s The Frame, Waithe says she isn’t taking sides when it comes to believing Ansari or his accuser, who has said the comedian acted inappropriate with her during a date. Waithe and Anzari won an Emmy together for writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None.”

“Here’s the truth — in every situation, it’s not always black-and-white,” Waithe said. “And I know that’s simple for people, and it’s easy for people to [ask], ‘Whose side are you on?’ There are no sides, really, in some of these scenarios.”

“I’m not on Harvey Weinstein’s side, I’m not on Kevin Spacey’s side,” she continued. “But I think you have to take each situation [individually]. You can’t just say, Well, I’m on this person’s teamor I’m on that person’s team. It doesn’t work that way.”

Waithe went on to say that she hopes the allegations against Ansari help people learn about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. The Emmy winner hopes the dialogue about the issue continues so that everyone becomes educated on proper codes of conduct.

“I think if we’re unwilling to have a dialogue we’re gonna continue to keep hitting our heads against the wall,” Waithe said. “We have to create codes of conduct. Those are things that we need. ’Cause also I think there’s an element of — how do you know if you’re breaking a rule if you aren’t aware of the rules? Or how do you know what appropriate behavior is if no one’s ever communicated to you what appropriate behavior is?”

Ansari has denied the misconduct claim against him, saying everything that happened between himself and his accuser was “consensual.”