Amy Schumer says she “really feel[s] for the woman” who recently accused her friend and fellow comic, Aziz Ansari, of sexual misconduct. “I identify with all the women in these situations,” the “Trainwreck” writer and star told Katie Couric on the February 1 episode of the latter’s podcast. “Even if it’s my friend, I don’t go, ‘Oh, but he’s a good guy.’ I think, ‘What would it feel like to have been her?’”
On January 13 — less than a week after Ansari accepted a Golden Globe Award while wearing a Time’s Up pin — an unidentified 23-year-old woman described to the website Babe how a September 2017 date with the “Master of None” co-creator “turned into the worst night of my life.” She said she felt pressured to perform oral sex on Ansari, who also allegedly touched the woman’s breast without her consent.
In his response, Ansari said, “by all indications [the encounter] was completely consensual,” adding that he, “continue[s] to support the movement that is happening in our culture.” Ansari, who skipped the January 21 SAG Awards, has been defended by many, including New York Times writer Bari Weiss, HLN host Ashleigh Banfield, and comedian Joel McHale. “Saturday Night Live” even ran a sketch last week about the precarious task of broaching the topic with your friends.
Speaking to Couric, Schumer said, “I don’t think anyone wants to see Aziz’s career ruined or his life ruined or anything like that, but that’s where people’s minds go. They go, ‘Does he deserve this?’ And it’s really not about that. I think it’s about expressing and showing women that that behavior is not okay and not only can you leave, but you need to leave. Because then the women who come after you, you’re leaving a mark for them too.”
Schumer’s 2016 memoir, “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo,” included her own experience as a victim of sexual assault: she once awoke to find her boyfriend having sex with her. Along with 300-plus women in the entertainment industry, Schumer signed the open New York Times letter launching the Time’s Up legal defense fund to counter sexual harassment.