The Aziz Ansari pivot away from wokeness

While Louis CK continues to make unannounced drop-ins at New York comedy clubs, much to the dismay of anyone hoping he’d talk about the reason for his absence over the past year, Aziz Ansari hasn’t been quiet as quiet.

Ansari began headlining comedy clubs again this summer, about six or seven months after a woman accused him of forcing himself on her during a date.

Ansari thought his sexual encounter with the woman was consensual, but responded to the allegations in January by saying, in part: “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.”

The comedian who co-starred on Parks and Recreation and won Emmys for writing in his starring turn on Netflix’s Master of None has seemed to pivot away from wokeness.

Despite previously calling himself a feminist and writing a best-selling book about Modern Romance, Ansari hasn’t exactly addressed his public hypocrisy, but rather turned his attention against so-called social justice warriors and others who might be woke. As The New Yorker pointed out in a new piece on the comedian:

In his latest set, Ansari suggests that collective anger has overcorrected; now, rather than hold power to account, it targets the slightest and least consequential controversies. “Why is everyone weighing in on this shit?” Ansari asked of the Twitter users who flocked to debate whether an American teen-ager’s choice of prom dress constituted so-called cultural appropriation. “Everyone weighs in on everything. They don’t know anything. People don’t wanna just say, ‘I don’t know.’ ” The amused but progressive spirit that once informed Ansari’s commentary on current events seems to have crusted into suspicion about wokeness and its excesses. Without ever mentioning the #MeToo movement—or his own experience as one of its most disputed casualties—Ansari decries the destructive performativity of Internet activism and the fickle, ever-changing standards of political correctness. 

Read the rest of the piece on The New Yorker.

Ansari’s site, meanwhile, lists tour dates across America for the next month.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →