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Lena Waithe Says ‘It’s Not Always Black and White’ Regarding Aziz Ansari Allegations

Lena Waithe, Aziz Ansari
Photography: Roger Erickson

“We have to start reeducating ourselves about what consent is.” 

Lena Waithe is speaking about the sexual misconduct allegations surrounding her Mater of None collaborator Aziz Ansari.

"Here's the truth - in every situation, it's not always black-and-white. And I know that's simple for people, and it's easy for people to [ask], Whose side are you on? There are no sides, really, in some of these scenarios. I'm not on Harvey Weinstein's side, I'm not on Kevin Spacey's side. But I think you have to take each situation [individually]. You can't just say, Well, I'm on this person's team, or I'm on that person's team. It doesn't work that way," she said to KPCC's The Frame.

Related | Aziz Ansari Accused of Sexual Assault

Last month Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a photographer whom he took on a date after meeting her at the 2017 Emmy Awards. Grace, who took on a pseudonym for her protection, described the night as "violating and painful," saying she felt pressured into sexual acts by Ansari.

Related | OUT100: Lena Waithe, Artist of the Year

Waithe emphasized the importance of a "dialogue" in situations like these. "I think if we're unwilling to have a dialogue we're gonna continue to keep hitting our heads against the wall," she said. "We have to start reeducating ourselves about what consent is, what's appropriate behavior at the workplace. We have to create codes of conduct." She emphasizes the importance of educating ourselves and each other, lest people who were never taught the appropriate behavior be villainized and reprimanded. Read the full article from The Frame, here.

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