I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life by Katie Way She approached him because she recognized his camera flash — Aziz Ansari was taking pictures at the Emmy Awards after-party with a film camera, not a digital one. We are not using her real name to protect her identity because she is not a public figure.
They flirted a little — he took two pictures of her, she snapped some of him — and then she and her date went back to the dance floor. When her plane landed back in New York the next day, she already had a message from him. The night would end with Grace in an Uber home, in tears, messaging her friends about how Ansari behaved. The day after the incident, she wrote a long text to Ansari, saying: We spoke to Grace last week.
After arriving at his apartment in Manhattan on Monday evening, they exchanged small talk and drank wine. She said it was a beautiful, warm September night.
They discussed NYU, comedy and a new, secret project he was working on, but she says she did most of the talking. Grace says she sensed Ansari was eager for them to leave. The abruptness surprised her. When they walked back in, she complimented his marble countertops. According to Grace, Ansari turned the compliment into an invitation. She remembers feeling uncomfortable at how quickly things escalated. When Ansari told her he was going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss, Grace voiced her hesitation explicitly.
She did, but not for long. Everything was pretty much touched and done within ten minutes of hooking up, except for actual sex. She compared the path they cut across his apartment to a football play. It was really repetitive.
It felt like a fucking game. She excused herself to the bathroom soon after. Grace says she spent around five minutes in the bathroom, collecting herself in the mirror and splashing herself with water. Then she went back to Ansari. He asked her if she was okay. She told babe that at first, she was happy with how he reacted.
Verbally, in that moment, he acknowledged that I needed to take it slow. When she sat down on the floor next to Ansari, who sat on the couch, she thought he might rub her back, or play with her hair — something to calm her down. Ansari instructed her to turn around. I think I just felt really pressured. It was literally the most unexpected thing I thought would happen at that moment because I told him I was uncomfortable.
He said he had to show her something. Do you want me to fuck you right here? I felt really emotional all at once when we sat down there. That that whole experience was actually horrible. She teared up in the hallway, outside his place, pressing the down button on the elevator.
The Uber was waiting when she left the building. He asked if she was Essence, she said yes, and then she rode back to her Brooklyn apartment. At that point I felt violated.
That last hour was so out of my hand. Ansari has released a statement, which you can read in full here. She said so to her friends via text after the date and said the same thing to me when we spoke. Ansari built his career on being cute and nice and parsing the signals women send to men and the male emotions that result and turning them into award-winning, Madison Square Garden-filling comedy.
Most people first saw Aziz when he was Tom Haverford, a Parks and Rec fan favorite whose absurd, hilarious phrases were made to be memed. At that time, he branded himself as the witty, woke alternative to the stereotypical douchebag bro. His early s routines paint him as the kind of guy who strikes out because he actually respects women. He wanted to get me drunk and then fuck me. The roommate asked how it went right away.
When they asked, she told her coworkers that the date had gone poorly. She also reached out to her friends, who helped her craft a message to tell Ansari how she felt about the date. But he reached out first. And that night in his apartment was the last time she saw him, until she watched him win big at the Golden Globes.
Grace says her friends helped her grapple with the aftermath of her night with Ansari. I think that started a new fire, and it kind of made it more real. I was not listened to and ignored. 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.
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.
It is necessary and long overdue.