Disclaimer: I’m sorry if this was poorly-written and somewhat ill-informed. I’ll edit this.
A few years ago, I was vocal about my admiration for Aziz Ansari. He was funny, self-aware, intelligent, and woke. If I remember correctly, I even wrote about my little crush on him on my Facebook profile. I loved Master of None. Then the Babe.net story happened. In a time where most of us take into account one’s personal values in the goods that we consume, I struggled to grapple with the idea that Aziz Ansari is an alleged sexual predator. I fucking liked him, and it sucked to know that he was likely to be like that.
Now that the brouhaha over the Babe.net article has mostly died down (or did it, really?), I finally had the balls to watch his latest comedy special. Needless to say, I was ambivalent about it. I actually liked how self-reflexive and contradictory it was (especially on woke culture), but I struggled to be comfortable throughout the sixty-five minute special. Is it because I found the apology somehow lacking? Is it because Aziz never really addressed the allegations head-on in his material? Most likely.
Am I ready to forgive (and admire) Aziz Ansari again? I’m not sure about that yet. But one thing’s for sure: the journey of moving forward after a major screw-up is difficult and potentially life-altering. It’s not a linear path, and there’s a lot of introspection, empathy, and dark truths to deal with. He still deserves to move forward in some way, and I guess we all need to cut him some slack for that.