NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
On Monday, HLN host Ashleigh Banfield took issue with “Grace,” the woman who wrote an article about her one-time date with comedic actor Aziz Ansari. The article, which has since gone viral, accuses Ansari of sexual misconduct. (Ansari has since responded, saying he “took her words to heart.” He also claims to have contacted her privately.)
Banfield disagrees with Grace’s opinion, and goes on to call it a “bad date.”
Grace wrote that Ansari didn’t listen to her protests and continued to be aggressively sexual, and he allegedly consistently put her hand on his crotch and put his fingers in her mouth.
Speaking on her show Crime & Justice, Banfield took multiple shots at Grace, saying 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.”
Banfield criticized 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 accused Grace of taking away the power of the #MeToo movement, meant to empower women facing sexual abuse.
“[You’ve] chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all of my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades,” said Banfield. “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.”
“The #MeToo movement has righted a lot of wrongs and it has made your career path much smoother… what a gift,” she said. “Yet, you looked that gift horse in the mouth and chiseled away at that powerful movement with your public accusation.”
Banfield ends her rant by saying Ansari doesn’t deserve to be blacklisted for his alleged behaviour.
None of these allegations have been proven in court, and Ansari has not been charged with any crime.
(You can watch a clip of the segment in the video, above.)