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A 23-year-old Brooklyn photographer’s account of a night with comedian Aziz Ansari has provoked both ire and solidarity across the internet. Whoopi Goldberg and her co-hosts on The View are the latest media celebrities to add their two cents defending Ansari.
The photographer, who used the pseudonym Grace in her interview with Babe, gave a detailed account of an unwanted sexual encounter with Ansari during what she described as the “worst night” of her life. She said his behavior escalated to “sexual assault” and that she gave Ansari both verbal and non-verbal cues indicating that she did not want to continue engaging in sexual acts.
On The View on Tuesday, Goldberg criticized the woman for going to Ansari’s apartment in the first place and questioned whether a non-verbal cue could negate consent.
“So, if you’re on a date and he’s not as a good as you thought, and you’re uncomfortable and [giving non-verbal cues], does that mean stop, go away?” Goldberg said. “Whatever happened to ‘Stop or I’m going to knock you in your nuts?’”
She received loud applause from the audience at the line.
Meghan McCain said she didn’t know the meaning of the term “non-verbal cue” either and was “confused” by the account. “To me, verbal cues are important. Saying ‘no’ is important,” McCain said.
In a statement on Sunday, Ansari said he was “surprised and concerned” by the woman’s text the following day that stated she was uncomfortable with how the events of their date played out. “I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said,” he wrote.
Goldberg’s co-host Sunny Hostin, a former prosecutor, said the account by the photographer does not indicate “sexual assault.”
“She went willingly back to his apartment, they did engage in sexual activity consensually, and then somewhere along the lines she decided that she had had enough and wanted to go home,” Hostin said.
Goldberg insisted that if women are “not interested” in having sex on a date, then they shouldn’t go home with men.
“The line is very, very clear,” she said. “If you are not interested in having a physical relationship… then say goodnight after dinner.”
H/T Daily Beast
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.