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Aziz Ansari returns to Netflix with comedy special

Posted at 8:53 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 22:53:13-04

Comedian Aziz Ansari has kept his on-screen presence to a minimum following an allegation of sexual misconduct in January of last year.

However, that’s all about to change for the star and co-creator of Netflix’s “Master of None.”

Ansari took to Twitter today to announce his first televised comedy special in more than four years, titled, “Aziz Ansari: Right Now, ” which will stream on Netflix beginning July 9, and have Oscar-winner Spike Jonze as director. His last special, titled, “Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden,” was released on Netflix on March 6, 2015.

While Ansari has been touring since last August, he had previously been a dominant force on television and Netflix throughout much of his career, and in the wake of the 2018 allegation, Ansari has been largely absent from those media. The second season of his Emmy-winning Netflix show, “Master of None,” released on May 12, 2017, was Ansari’s last major debut on television or a streaming platform. The series “Master of None,” for which Ansari was both creator and star, follows Ansari’s character “Dev” through a string of romantic and professional experiences in New York City and abroad in Italy.

It is unclear whether “Master of None” will be returning for a third season. Ansari previously told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to continue the series, and Netflix vice president of original series Cindy Holland has said that the company would green light another season.

Last January, Babe.net published the anonymous account of a woman who accused Ansari of sexual assault during a date. She said she was repeatedly pressured to have sex and ultimately “felt violated” by his behavior. The allegation itself became a topic of widespread controversy, as the editorial standards of the website that published the account were called into question. Still, partially because Ansari had presented himself as a feminist, the allegation was seen to damage Ansari’s reputation, and for months, he has seemed to be in retreat from the public eye.

“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party,” Ansari said in a statement at the time. “We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.

“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture,” Ansari said, referring to the #MeToo movement. “It is necessary and long overdue.”

According to people who have attended shows during his international tour, Ansari addresses the allegations against him and the #MeToo movement during the set.