The View was fairly unanimous in its defense of comedian and actor Aziz Ansari Friday morning after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him.
In a story posted on website Babe, a photographer described a date she went on with Ansari as “the worst night of my life.” She detailed how Ansari repeatedly tried to have sex with her after the two went back to his TriBeCa apartment after a date. The woman – who goes by the alias “Grace” in the story – says she gave several “verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was” during the encounter.
The View called the account “confusing” on Tuesday’s episode and wondered why Grace had not been more direct with Ansari about how she was feeling.
“Whatever happened to stop or I’m going to knock you in your nuts?” Whoopi Goldberg asked, to applause from the audience.
“Non-verbal’s just too vague. I think you have to be verbal,” fellow panelist Rob Riggle added. “And once ‘no’ is established, then it’s established.”
Meghan McCain agreed, though qualified that she has “always had the luxury of knowing [her] sexual boundaries” and has been told that many of her female friends have had similar experiences as Grace.
“I’m concerned about what this does to the Me Too movement,” McCain said. “I’m also freaked out about talking about this on television because I think there’s gonna be a huge backlash.”
Responses to the allegations made against Ansari were mixed, with both The New York Times and The Atlantic publishing widely circulated opinion pieces defending the actor, who was very remorseful after learning in a text how Grace felt about the encounter.
“It would never be my intention to make you or anyone feel the way you described,” Ansari told her via text. “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”
The panel acknowledged this gesture and felt that Grace should have set much clearer boundaries for Ansari to follow.
“The line [between consent and non-consent] is very, very clear,” Goldberg said. “If you are not interested in having a physical relationship… then say good-night after dinner, don’t go to their apartment.”
Watch above via ABC.
[image via screengrab]
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