no joke
February 12, 2019

Comedian Aziz Ansari opened up about the sexual misconduct allegation leveled against him in a recent stand-up set, saying he hopes it has made him a better person.

Ansari's Monday night performance in New York came about a year after he was accused of misconduct in an article published by Babe.net. A woman described a date with Ansari, which she said ended with him pressuring her into performing oral sex. Ansari in a statement said that their encounter was consensual.

The comedian, who is in the middle of a stand-up tour, said he was "really upset and humiliated and embarrassed" by the story and that "ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way," Vulture reports. "I hope it was a step forward," he continued, saying the experience "made me think about a lot, and I hope I've become a better person."

"If that has made not just me but other guys think about this, and just be more thoughtful and aware and willing to go that extra mile, and make sure someone else is comfortable in that moment, that's a good thing," he said.

Ansari had previously returned to stand-up comedy but in recent sets did not delve into the scandal, although he joked about "newly woke white people" and scenes on sitcoms that would be considered sexual harassment today, as reported by The Cut.

Although Ansari mostly kept a serious tone when discussing the allegations on Monday, he did incorporate them into one bit. Vulture reports that Ansari told a joke about a fan confusing him with fellow comedian Hasan Minhaj — when asked if he was the one accused of sexual misconduct, he told the fan: "No, no, no, no, no, no, that's Hasan!" Brendan Morrow

April 20, 2016

Julia Louis-Dreyfus could hardly be mad when she found out that Hillary Clinton didn't actually write the fan letter she sent to the actress back in 2013. While the star of the HBO comedy Veep admits she initially thought that Clinton's letter meant she was a big fan of the show, she later found out it was instead evidence that the show's satirical portrayal of politics was even more spot-on than she'd realized.

One of the many Clinton email dumps revealed that the now-Democratic presidential candidate's letter wishing that Louis-Dreyfus gets "everything you want as Veep — gun control, immigration, and education reform" was actually the byproduct of some brainstorming with her then-aide, Robert V. Russo, who had never even seen the show:

"A friend wants me to sign something for Julia Lewis-Dreyfus for Veep. Any ideas?" Clinton wrote, her question (and mangling of the star's name) suggesting unfamiliarity with the series. Russo responded: "Let me brainstorm on this one/do some research. I confess I haven't seen the show!" [The Hollywood Reporter]

While some stars might be offended by the revelation, Louis-Dreyfus sees it as perhaps the most Veep moment ever. "I mean, it's perfect — just perfect," Louis-Dreyfus said, adding that she currently has both letters hanging side-by-side in her office.

Read the seven-time Emmy winner's full take on Veep's intersection with real world politics over at The Hollywood Reporter. Becca Stanek

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