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Lena Waithe Hopes the Aziz Ansari Sexual Misconduct Allegation ‘Educates Society About Consent’

The Emmy winner talks to Vanity Fair about what she hopes people take away from the sexual misconduct allegation against her friend.

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, "Master of None"

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, “Master of None”


Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari are friends and collaborators who won an Emmy together for writing on Ansari’s Netflix comedy series “Master of None,” so it’s understandable that addressing the allegation against Ansari is challenging for Waithe. Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a 23-year-old woman who spoke to Babe.net about a date she had with the comedian that allegedly turned inappropriate.

Waithe told KPCC’s The Frame earlier this year that the situation was not “black-and-white” and that she wasn’t going to choose sides. In a new profile by Vanity Fair, the writer and actress addresses the allegation only by stating what it is she hopes society takes away from the accusation against her friend.

Read More: Lena Waithe Isn’t Taking Sides Between Aziz Ansari and His Accuser: ‘It’s Not Always Black-and-White’

“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.”I think there are both men and women who are still trying to figure it out.”

“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,” she continued. “That’s just human kindness and decency.”

Waithe’s comment in Vanity Fair echoes the sentiment she expressed on KPCC’s The Frame. She said back in February that the best thing that could come out of the allegation against Ansari is a broader conversation about what is and what isn’t appropriate behavior.

“I think if we’re unwilling to have a dialogue we’re gonna continue to keep hitting our heads against the wall,” Waithe said. “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?”

Neither Netflix or Ansari have announced plans for “Master of None” Season 3. Waithe currently serves as the creator of the Showtime drama “The Chi,” which will return for a second season, and she can be seen on the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”

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