The hilariously funny Aziz Ansari recently released his new Netflix series, Master of None, a comedy following the personal and professional life of an indecisive 30-year-old New York actor. But in a Nov. 11 interview with The Daily Beast, Ansari discussed the show, as well as the surprising theme of one of series’ episodes.
According to The Huffington Post, Ansari spoke on the issue of female harassment in light of one of the episodes of Master of None that dealt specifically with the topic. A self-proclaimed feminist, Ansari “pointed out why it’s so important for everyone, but men especially, to recognize and learn about women’s experiences.”
In his interview with The Daily Beast, Ansari said that most female celebrities are subject to death threats on Instagram, but male celebrities don’t face the same treatment. “No one is giving Drake death threats — only female celebrities get that … If you’re not aware that it’s happening overwhelmingly more to women than it is to men, you’re an idiot who’s detached from reality.”
In discussing the recent Master of None episode that addresses harassment, Ansari explained that the idea for the episode was inspired by one of his stand-up comedy shows.
“I’d talk about women getting followed home by creepy dudes, and I’d ask during the bit, ‘Raise your hands if you’re a woman and you’ve been followed home,’ and everyone would raise their hand,” he said. Ansari went on to explain the reactions of the female audience members, saying that all of the women were startled when they’d look around the room to see that they were not the sole recipients of such harassment.
Following this bit, Ansari asked the men in the audience if they knew the breadth of the issue. “They couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I thought it was interesting that this is happening, yet so many people are unaware of it. And the problem is people aren’t talking about it.”
Ansari went on to describe how important it is to listen to women’s experiences with harassment, and even sexism in general — something he said he has learned to do in his own life.
He advised men to “go to your group of female friends and ask them about times they’ve experienced sexism at their job, and you’ll get blown away by the things they tell you. You’ll think, ‘What the f*ck? This is way darker than anything I’d imagined.'”
Thanks, Aziz Ansari, for calling on men to take time to listen to women and their stories.