Aziz Ansari's comeback from his own Me Too scandal took another step forward with the news Monday that he will star in a new Netflix special, directed by filmmaker Spike Jonze. The new special, titled Aziz Ansari: Right Now, will be released on July 9.
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The special will be his first since he was accused of sexual misconduct in a controversial article posted on Babe.net. According to Vulture, the special was filmed during the former Parks and Recreation star's Road to Nowhere international tour and is a follow-up to his 2015 Netflix special, Live at Madison Square Garden.
Ansari has been a controversial figure since the Babe.net article. In the piece, a woman claimed she went on a date with Ansari in September 2017. She claimed he tried to have sex with her at his apartment, even though she declined. Ansari later issued a statement, confirming he did go on a date with the woman and insisted the sexual activity 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,” Ansari's statement read. “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.”
He concluded, “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”
Although Ansari retreated from acting after the scandal and has still not made a third season of his Netflix sitcom Master of None, he did hit the road to perform last year. He avoided the subject until a pop-up show in February.
"It's a terrifying thing to talk about," he told the audience at a show in New York City. "There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way. But you know, after a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I've become a better person."
Ansari said he hoped the ordeal made a positive impact on the dating world. He also set the bar low for his own career's future, noting that he once feared he would never perform again.
"If that has made not just me but other guys think about this. And just be more thoughtful and aware and willing to go that extra mile, and make sure someone else is comfortable in that moment, that's a good thing," Ansari said.
He later added, "And I think it also just gave me perspective on my life. There was a moment where I was scared that I'd never be able to do this again."
Ansari's Netflix special was announced days after The Cut published an article on Babe.net's demise. The site's Ansari report was widely criticized among journalists and rather than put the site on the map, it struggled. Babe.net has not published new content since December and the site shuttered in February after it missed another round of funding. In November, Page Six reported that Katie Way, who wrote the Ansari piece, was now working for Cannabis Now magazine.
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