Amy Schumer is weighing in on an anonymous woman accusing Aziz Ansari of "aggressive" sexual behavior that left her feeling "violated."
Schumer recently appeared on The Katie Couric Podcast, where she talked about the allegation against Ansari, whom she acknowledged is a "friend." The anonymous woman shared her story with the website Babe last month, claiming that during a date last September with the Master of None star, she gave verbal and non-verbal cues that she no longer wished to engage in sexual activity, which Ansari allegedly "ignored." The woman, a 23-year-old photographer, also said she "felt really pressured" to engage in further sexual activity.
In a statement, Ansari said their sexual activity "by all indications was completely consensual," and noted that he was "surprised and concerned" when she texted him afterwards that she felt uncomfortable.
On the podcast, Schumer said she wasn't giving Ansari a pass because of their personal relationship.
“He’s been my friend and I really feel for the woman," she said. "I identify with all the women in these situations. Even if it’s my friend, I don’t go, ‘Oh, but he’s a good guy.’ I think, ‘What would it feel like to have been her?’”
“I don’t think anyone wants to see Aziz’s career ruined or his life ruined or anything like that, but that’s where people’s minds go,” Schumer also said. “They go, ‘Does he deserve this?’ And it’s really not about that. I think it’s about expressing and showing women that that behavior is not OK and not only can you leave, but you need to leave. Because then the women who come after you, you’re leaving a mark for them too.”
Schumer stressed that making a woman feel uncomfortable is "not acceptable."
“If you have a doctor that makes you uncomfortable, or you get a massage, or you have a date with someone and they coerce you in a situation like the Aziz one, I don’t think there’s any sort of criminal charge, but I think that it’s good for everybody to learn that that behavior’s not acceptable,” she said. “It’s not a crime, but it’s not cool. And it can still really mess with a woman.”
In Ansari's statement last month, the comedian said he took the anonymous woman's words "to heart" when she texted that their encounter didn't leave her feeling "good at all."
"In September of last year, I met a woman at a party," Ansari said. "We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual."
"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed OK,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable," the statement continued. "It was true that everything did seem OK 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. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."
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