When the credits of Aziz Ansari's new Netflix Comedy Special began to scroll on my TV screen, I grabbed my phone, opened Twitter, and searched for the name of the comedian. I deliberately tried to see the special titled Right Now in a vacuum. I was curious to see how Ansari's special was recorded, unsure if I would find a series of reactions.
Instead, I found two main opponents who wrestled for power in the form of retweets and likes. The comments (many of them from men), which fell heavily on one side or the other, found the greatest engagement ̵
Sometimes our so-called "cancellation culture" is good, as when it comes to legitimate monsters like Harvey Weinstein. But in the case of Aziz Ansari, whose Gray Zone # MeToo scandal might have been a real teaching moment, the polarizing response to social media is hindering men's growth capacity.
Right Now Ansari's first major return to the public after being bogged down in a controversy over sexual misconduct in the midst of the #Metoo movement in 2018. Ansari was the subject of a story on the website Babe titled "I had an appointment with Aziz Ansari, it was the worst night of my life." The story, which was attributed to a single anonymous source and ran without comment by Ansari, contained detailed, harrowing allegations against Ansari, including "physically pulling his penis all night with his penis". The article also accuses Ansari of missing several "verbal and non-verbal cues" indicating that his date (known by the pseudonym Grace) was "unpleasant and desperate."