Comedian Aziz Ansari is convinced he has emerged a “better person” in the wake of his 2018 sexual misconduct scandal.
The Master of None star hit headlines in January, 2018, when an anonymous New York-based photographer accused him of coercing her into performing sex acts following an early 2017 date, which resulted in the couple going back to the actor’s place.
At the time, Ansari responded to the claims, admitting he and the woman in question had engaged “in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual,” and revealed he had “responded privately” to the female to discuss the incident.
He has since tackled the controversy as part of his stand-up routine on tour, with one of the shows filmed for his new Netflix special, titled Aziz Ansari: Right Now, in which he addresses his feelings about the “whole situation” at the start of the act.
“It’s a tricky thing for me to answer, cause I’ve (felt) so many things in the last year or so,” he begins. “There are times I felt scared. There are times I’ve felt humiliated. There are times I’ve (felt) embarrassed. And ultimately, I just felt terrible that this person felt this way.”
The actor, 36, explained he’d spent the past year reflecting on his behaviour in a bid to take a “step forward” and “become a better person”, and at the end of the special, touched on the subject once more, admitting the scandal had made him turn a corner in his personal life, and learn to appreciate the fleeting nature of success.
“I’m glad you all came out tonight… I really mean that,” Aziz tells the crowd as he closes the show.
“I saw the world where I don’t ever get to do this again. And it almost felt like I’d died. In a way, I did. That old Aziz… he’s dead. But I’m glad, because that guy was always looking forward to whatever was next. But I don’t think that way anymore. Because I’ve realised, it’s all ephemeral. All that stuff, it can just go away.”