HLN Host Ashleigh Banfield Slams Aziz Ansari Accuser: 'You Have Chipped Away at a Movement'
The HLN "Crime & Justice" host took issue with the sexual misconduct claims made against the "Master of None" star over the weekend.
HLN host Ashleigh Banfield on Monday called out the woman who accused Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct in a story posted Sunday (Jan. 14) on Babe.net.
Banfield, speaking on her HLN program Crime & Justice, addressed "Grace" — the pseudonym used by the woman who claimed Ansari "violated" her — by saying, "I'm sorry you had a bad date ... but let's take a moment to reflect on what you claim was the 'worst night of your life.'"
Banfield went on to say to Grace that when the date got "overly amorous" and she began "protesting [Ansari's] moves," that she "did not get up and leave" and "continued to engage in the sexual encounter."
In the Babe.net post, Grace claimed that the incident with Ansari "was 30 minutes of me getting up and moving and him following and sticking his fingers down my throat again" and that she "was physically giving off cues that I wasn't interested." Grace also claimed that she texted Ansari the next day and that he apologized and "misread things." The Master of None star also responded to her claims in a statement on Sunday, saying he "took her words to heart."
Banfield continued to criticize Grace's claims, saying that "by your own clear description, this wasn't a rape, nor was it a sexual assault. By your description, your sexual encounter was unpleasant." The host then claimed that Grace had "chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all of my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades. A movement that has finally changed an oversexed professional environment that I, too, have struggled through at times over the last 30 years in broadcasting."
Added Banfield: "The #MeToo movement has righted a lot of wrongs and it has made your career path much smoother ... what a gift. Yet, you looked that gift horse in the mouth and chiseled away at that powerful movement with your public accusation."
Banfield ended her segment by saying Ansari does not deserved to be "blackballed" from Hollywood over the accusations. "The only sentence a guy like that deserves is a bad case of blue balls," she said.
Tonight on @CrimeJusticeHLN, HLN's @TVAshleigh delivers an open letter to @azizansari's accuser: You have chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades... https://t.co/JZcWSArBps— HLN Public Relations (@HLNPR) January 16, 2018
This article originally appeared on THR.com.