Amy Schumer is commenting on one woman’s charge of sexual misconduct against her fellow comedian and friend, Aziz Ansari.
Schumer, a guest on Katie Couric’s podcast, told the journalist she views the date between Ansari and an unnamed photographer, as described to Babe, as a learning opportunity.
The 23-year-old woman, referred to as Grace, told the outlet after a quick dinner, Ansari undressed her at his apartment, pressured her into oral sex and suggested he get a condom. She also told Babe, “I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested. I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored.”
“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 told Couric in the episode released Thursday. “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’s not okay 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 added, “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. It’s not a crime, but it’s not cool. And it can still really mess with a woman.”
Ansari responded to “Grace’s” account through his representative Jodi Gottlieb after the original report published in January. In the statement issued to USA TODAY, Ansari said the two engaged “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 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.”
On Couric’s podcast, Schumer issued a call to women to articulate standards and boundaries.
“We need to be teaching each other the kind of behavior that’s acceptable and so when something comes up, to say, ‘That makes me really uncomfortable,” or just what you’re willing to accept,” she said. “Those are the hard conversations, but we can’t let things continue the way that they’ve continued because there’s so many different levels of it.”
Schumer also said she doesn’t let her friendship with Ansari cloud her view of his alleged misconduct. “I identify with all the women in these situations,” she said. “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?’”
Contributing: Kim Willis
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