Joel McHale isn’t so sure about the sexual misconduct allegations made against Aziz Ansari.
The TV host contends the situation involving Ansari — who is accused by a female photographer of failing to respond to physical cues and pressuring her into sexual acts — sounds consensual to him.
“The problem is that people will read just the name and then just the accusation and they don’t find out anything more than that,” McHale told a TMZ reporter who caught up to him in Park City, Utah. “So that’s the problem, but it sounds like it was consensual.”
“The #MeToo movement is tremendous, and is awesome and needs to happen and continue forever, but if someone had a bad date, then it’s a bad date,” McHale continued.
Ansari’s accuser — who went by the pseudonym “Grace” — came forward with her allegations against the actor to Babe.net in a report published earlier this month.
She claims she went on a date with Ansari last September in New York, and once they returned back to his apartment afterward, he began kissing her within minutes. She asserts things happened very quickly from there, claiming Ansari digitally penetrated her, performed oral sex and pressured her to do the same shortly after they arrived.
Joel McHale (left) says the situation involving Aziz Ansari (right) and a photographer “sounds consensual.”
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
She also claims Ansari moved her hand toward his genitals between five and seven times, even after she’d move it away.
“I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested,” she told the website. “I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored.”
She claims she finally told the “Parks and Recreation” star she was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t long before Ansari began pressuring her to perform oral sex again.
Ansari has responded to the allegations, stating he didn’t realize she was uncomfortable until she texted him the next day.
“It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned,” Ansari said in a statement.
Stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
HLN host Ashleigh Banfield has since defended Ansari by condemning his accuser in a segment on her show “Crime & Justice.”
“You had an unpleasant date,” Banfield said. “And you didn’t leave. That is on you. And all the gains that have been achieved on your behalf and mine are now being compromised by allegations that are reckless and hollow.”
Ansari, 34, did not attend Sunday evening’s SAG Awards, where he was nominated for best actor in a comedy for “Master of None.” He did not receive applause when his name was announced as a nominee.
The award went to “Shameless” actor William H. Macy.