Before embarking on an extensive international tour this spring, Aziz Ansari held a small "pop-up" show in New York City where he tried out jokes and address the giant elephant in the room.
Last year, a story was published on Babe.net in which a woman accused Ansari of sexual misconduct. At this small stand-up show of 200 people, Ansari spoke about the allegation for the first time since his initial statement released shortly after the piece was published.
“There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” Ansari told his comedy show crowd. "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.”
“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," he continued.
According to Vulture, the comedian was sombre as he expressed his regret and insecurity to the audience, and revealed that he is thankful to be able to perform again. He also said "he’ll be back for a proper show in the spring."
“There was a moment,” he said, “where I was scared that I’d never be able to do this again. [...] You did all this shit just to hear me talk for an hour and some change, and it means the world to me, so thank you so much.”
The author of the Babe.net article declined Refinery29's request for comment.