Lena Waithe is speaking out about the sexual misconduct allegation levied against her Master of None costar Aziz Ansari. When asked about the scandal in a new interview, the actress, 33, opened up about the importance of consent.
“At the end of the day, what I would hope comes out of this is that we as a society … educate ourselves about what consent is — what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like,” Waithe said in her April 2018 cover story for Vanity Fair. “I think there are both men and women who are still trying to figure it out.”
She continued, “We need to be more attuned to each other, pay more attention to each other, in every scenario, and really make sure that, whatever it is we’re doing with someone else, they’re comfortable doing whatever that thing is, and that we’re doing it together. That’s just human kindness and decency.”
As previously reported, a 23-year-old photographer from Brooklyn, New York, told the website Babe.net in January that she met Ansari, 35, at an Emmys afterparty months earlier. They later went out to dinner, which the woman, who used the pseudonym Grace, described as “the worst night of my life.”
Grace alleged that the Parks and Recreation alum was sexually coercive when they returned to his apartment. However, her account of the evening quickly faced backlash on social media. Some people called her allegation “reckless,” while others suggested that the incident merely sounded like a bad date.
In a statement to Us Weekly on January 14, Ansari said he believed his encounter with Grace was consensual. “It was true that everything did seem OK to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned,” he said. “I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”
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