Over the weekend, the website Babe published an account of an anonymous woman’s encounter with Master of None star Aziz Ansari. The piece provided a very detailed and graphic retelling of the 23-year-old’s date with Ansari that was what she called “the worst night of her life.” The way it was described in the article, she provided non-verbal and verbal cues that she didn’t want to have sex with him that evening, but did engage in oral sex with Ansari.
Meanwhile, Ansari has released a statement addressing the accusation, stating that he understood the sexual activity that night to be “completely consensual” but has taken “her words to heart” and “responded privately” to the woman. And the article has led to quite a bit of debate over whether Ansari’s actions constituted sexual misconduct or assault.
This evening, HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield joined the discussion by delivering an on-air open letter to Ansari’s accuser. And the way Banfield sees it, the young woman has done quite a bit of damage to the #MeToo Movement.
“You had a bad date and your date got overly amorous,” Banfield said. After protesting his moves, did you not get up and leave, you continued to engage in the sexual encounter. By your own clear description, this was not a rape nor a sexual assault.”
Noting that the woman has not gone to the police for sexual assault and that it appears she just had an unpleasant sexual experience, Banfield assailed her for going to the press with a story about a “bad date” that could potentially end Ansari’s career. “What you have done in my opinion is appalling,” the HLN host declared.
“Here is where I am going to claim victim,” she stated. “You have chiseled away at a movement that I along with all of my sisters in the workplace have been dreaming of for decades. A movement that has finally changed an oversexed professional environment that I too have struggled through at times over the last 30 years in broadcasting.”
After telling the accuser that her actions were “reckless and hollow,” Banfield concluded with this thought:
“As you grow in your photography career, I hope you remember what you did to someone else’s career because of that bad date that was not sexual assault or sexual harassment by your description. I hope the next time you go on a bad date, you stand up and smooth out your dress and bloody well leave. The only sentence that a guy like that deserves is a bad case of blue balls, not a Hollywood blackball.”
Watch the clip above, via HLN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com