Amy Schumer Says She's 'in the Middle' on Aziz Ansari Allegations

Amy Schumer is conflicted about her friend Aziz Ansari's recent scandal. 

In an interview with   Babe.net last month, an anonymous 23-year-old woman accused Ansari of coercing her into sex after a date, which she defined as sexual assault.

Schumer, 36, was asked about the allegations in an interview for Katie Couric’s podcast, which was released Wednesday. “I’m in the middle,” she said.

She also admitted she went back and forth on the situation, which has been the subject of several recent think-pieces. "[Aziz has] been my friend, and I really feel for the woman. I identify with all the women in these situations. Even if it’s my friend, I don’t go, ‘Oh, but he’s a good guy.’ I think, ‘What would it feel like to have been her?’"

Ansari, who has been laying low since the story broke, initially responded by saying he remembered the encounter and believed it was consensual. 

Aziz Ansari Comedian Aziz Ansari has been accused of sexual assault. Fred Prouser/Reuters

"I don’t think anyone wants to see Aziz’s career ruined or his life ruined or anything like that, but that’s where people’s minds go,” Schumer elaborated. “They go, ‘Does he deserve this?’ And it’s really not about that."

To Schumer, the essay is really about "showing women that that behavior is not OK and not only can you leave, but you need to leave." She added, "If you don’t really lay your boundaries out, then you’re leaving it open for the women who come after you.”

She urged all women to learn from the Ansari scandal and the #MeToo movement.

“I think a lot of women feel really bad that they’ve been complicit with things, but we didn’t know not to be," she said. "And I think now there’s kind of no excuse. And if you have a doctor that makes you uncomfortable, or you get a massage, or you have a date with someone and they coerce you in a situation like the Aziz one...I don’t think there’s any sort of, criminal charge, but I think that it’s good for everybody to learn that that behavior’s not acceptable."

Amy Schumer Host Amy Schumer opens the show at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on April 12, 2015. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

"It's up to women to set these new boundaries for men," she added. "A lot of men are really confused right now, and are like ‘Wait, this has been cool for so long.’ Our dynamic at the office, or the gym, or whatever, it’s been…we kind of flirt.”

Schumer continued: “And we have all done this, we just flirt back with them so it’s not uncomfortable. Or maybe we have some sort of advantage: ‘Oh you know, this guy has feelings for me, so I kinda prey on that.’ We’ve all been there. And we can’t do that anymore.”

Samantha Bee had a very different reaction to her male colleague's alleged misdeeds. Bee has no patience for "confused" men. In last week's Full Frontal monologue, she told Ansari he needs "a higher standard for sex than just ‘not rape.'"

She pointed to Ansari's recent book Modern Romance, which features essays about finding love (and sex) in the technological era, as an example of Ansari's hypocrisy.

"Women get to talk about it if men don’t live up to those standards! Especially if that man wrote a book about how to have sex good," Bee said.

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