‘It’s Not Always Black And White’: Lena Waithe Addresses Aziz Ansari Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Lena Waithe, a co-star and co-writer for Aziz Ansari‘s Master of None TV series, has spoken for the first time in regards to recent allegations of sexual misconduct against Ansari.
READ: Aziz Ansari Responds To Sexual Misconduct Allegation, Claims It Was ‘Completely Consensual’
“Here’s the truth,” Waithe began while speaking with The Frame, a program on Southern California’s KPCC radio station. “In every situation, it’s not always black-and-white. And I know that’s simple for people, and it’s easy for people to [ask], ‘Whose side are you on?’ There are no sides, really, in some of these scenarios.”
“I’m not on Harvey Weinstein’s side, I’m not on Kevin Spacey’s side. But I think you have to take each situation [individually]. You can’t just say, ‘Well, I’m on this person’s team’ or ‘I’m on that person’s team.’ It doesn’t work that way.”
“I think a big thing is, we have to have a dialogue,” Waithe Continued. “And I think if we’re unwilling to have a dialogue we’re gonna continue to keep hitting our heads against the wall. We have to start reeducating ourselves about what consent is, what’s appropriate behavior at the workplace. We have to create codes of conduct. Those are things that we need. ‘Cause also I think there’s an element of — how do you know if you’re breaking a rule if you aren’t aware of the rules? Or how do you know what appropriate behavior is if no one’s ever communicated to you what appropriate behavior is? Even though some people may assume, Well, of course we all know what appropriate behavior is, but some people may not know.”
“It’s about really educating ourselves and not stepping in it and just [saying], Oh, I’m sorry. My bad — and sort of keep going. But it’s about really sitting with yourself and educating yourself in terms of what consent is, what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like. And all of us starting to really act accordingly based on this new information that I think we have now. We all gotta start talking to each other, start educating each other.”
Back in January, a woman recounted a date she had with Ansari to website Babe, and alleged that the actor made unwanted sexual advances toward her when they went to his apartment after a dinner date. She also said Ansari “ignored clear non-verbal cues” and “kept going with advances” after she told him she was uncomfortable.
Following the release of the story Ansari issued a statement.
“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. 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,” Ansari said.
“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”
Source: The Frame