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

Waithe and Anzari won an Emmy together for writing the "Thanksgiving" episode of "Master of None."
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe - Writing for a Comedy Series - Master of None69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Sep 2017
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe has broken her silence about the sexual misconduct allegations facing her friend and collaborator Aziz Ansari. In an interview with KPCC’s The Frame, Waithe says she isn’t taking sides when it comes to believing Ansari or his accuser, who has said the comedian acted inappropriate with her during a date. Waithe and Anzari won an Emmy together for writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None.”

“Here’s the truth — in every situation, it’s not always black-and-white,” Waithe said. “And I know that’s simple for people, and it’s easy for people to [ask], ‘Whose side are you on?’ There are no sides, really, in some of these scenarios.”

“I’m not on Harvey Weinstein’s side, I’m not on Kevin Spacey’s side,” she continued. “But I think you have to take each situation [individually]. You can’t just say, Well, I’m on this person’s teamor I’m on that person’s team. It doesn’t work that way.”

Waithe went on to say that she hopes the allegations against Ansari help people learn about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. The Emmy winner hopes the dialogue about the issue continues so that everyone becomes educated on proper codes of conduct.

“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?”

Ansari has denied the misconduct claim against him, saying everything that happened between himself and his accuser was “consensual.”

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