Aziz Ansari is finally talking about his sexual misconduct allegations. Here's what he said.

It’s been a year since Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct in a controversial Babe.net essay.

The essay sparked a discussion about the “gray areas” of consent, and now Ansari is adding his voice to the discussion.

Ansari opened up during a pop-up show for 200 people at the Village Underground in New York City. His set was the first time he’s addressed the allegations besides his brief statement when the article came out.


After making a few jokes about getting confused for Hasan Minhaj, Ansari shifted the subject to the allegations. Ansari said he hadn’t talked about the essay because he both wanted time to process the situation, and that “it’s a terrifying thing to talk about.”

“There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way. But you know, after a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person,” Ansari said during his set.

Ansari spoke with a friend who said the experience made him rethink his past dates.

“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.”

The events of the past year have made Ansari more appreciative of his opportunities to perform. “And I think it also just gave me perspective on my life. There was a moment where I was scared that I’d never be able to do this again,” he said.

Before the essay came out, Ansari would close his shows with an empty, “Thanks so much!”

“But now, I really mean it. I mean it on a different level,” he said. “You canceled whatever you were supposed to do tonight, and you came out in the cold, and you waited in line, and you put your phone in a stupid pouch. You did all this shit just to hear me talk for an hour and some change, and it means the world to me, so thank you so much.”

While Ansari didn’t offer a direct apology, his set was a step forward.

Men who have been accused of sexual misconduct might want to take note. (We’re looking at you Louis C.K.)

There’s no right way to make a comeback after sexual misconduct allegations, assuming someone even deserves the opportunity to return. But there’s certainly a wrong way. When Louis C.K. reappeared in front of audiences (without their consent), he didn’t talk about his allegations in a thoughtful way. He also told off-color jokes which seemed in poor taste given all that had happened. No meaningful lessons were learned that could help survivors heal or even help men learn to be better and more thoughtful about their actions.

Ansari will go on tour soon, and it’s likely he’ll have more to say about the past year.

Whether or not you're a fan, it seems like he’s taken some time to process the situation and grow from it. It will be interesting to see what conversation his return sparks.

More

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture