Aziz Ansariis taking a step back from the spotlight.
The 34-year-old Master of None star opted out of attending the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday after making headlines last week for an allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior by an anonymous woman. Ansari was nominated in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series category, but ultimately lost the award to Shameless' William H. Macy.
"In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. 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," Ansari said in a statement, issued shortly after the website Babe published a 23-year-old photographer's account of the evening in question. According to the story, she claims to have given verbal and non-verbal cues that she no longer wished to engaged in sexual activity.
Ansari's statement continued: "The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed OK,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem OK 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. It is necessary and long overdue," he concluded, seemingly referencing the #MeToo movement as well as Time's Up, which he supported at the Golden Globes, wearing both all black and a pin.
Meanwhile, fellow SAG Awards nominee James Franco was expected to attend Sunday's ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles after he was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior earlier this month. The Disaster Artist star has denied the allegations, calling them "false."
Franco denied the allegations in appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Late Night with Seth Meyers, and the 39-year-old chose not to attend the 2018 Critic's Choice Awards.