Katie Way, the Babe.net writer behind the viral story accusing Aziz Ansari of sexual assault, does not like being criticized, and she showed exactly how much she hates it in an email rant she sent to HLN after she was criticized by one of their anchors, Ashleigh Banfield.
As I wrote a few days ago, Way’s article told the story of “Grace,” a photographer who met Ansari at a party and went on a date with him. They quickly got naked and engaged in oral sex, but did not have intercourse. Grace claims that she was uncomfortable with a lot of their activities, but by her own words, did not clearly articulate that to Ansari:
Grace told Ansari she didn’t want to have sexual intercourse. She was uncomfortable and wanted to slow things down, but then she kept kissing him and performing oral sex on him…
The lesson here is a harsh but important one: casual sex is not without consequences.
Both Grace and Ansari have suffered major consequences because of their actions.
Grace feels ashamed and upset about how the date went. She was disappointed Ansari wasn’t more like the characters he plays on TV; the fantasy in her mind was brutally smashed by the reality that Ansari was just another dude who wanted to get laid, and didn’t rub her back or say sweet things.
Grace suffered because Ansari didn’t understand her feelings, but she also misunderstood him. The lovable characters he plays are so intrinsically tied into his persona and brand; this can’t have been the first time he met someone who expected him to be more like Dev Shah and Tom Haverford. And now his professional reputation has taken a huge hit.
Let’s be clear, Ansari is not blameless: he took home someone he barely knew and got intimate with her. He’s an adult who has been in the public spotlight for several years and should have known the potential risk if he wasn’t one hundred percent sure she was fine with everything that happened.
But is it really fair for Grace to now claim that this was not just “the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had,” but constituted “sexual assault”? Because that’s what she’s claiming now.
Banfield’s reaction to “Grace’s” story also rejected the suggestion that what happened was sexual assault, and she said so during her show.
This did not sit well with Way, who sent a nasty email to Banfield, portions of which she read on air today, as Andrea Ruth reported earlier. Banfield fired back at Way’s ad hominem attacks on her age and appearance, calling Way hypocritical and a betrayer of feminism and the #MeToo movement.
Way’s full email has now been released, and it’s even uglier when read in its entirety.
According to report by Business Insider, HLN invited Way to appear on their network to discuss the story. She refused and sent this email to the HLN producer who invited her:
It’s an unequivocal no from me. The way your colleague Ashleigh (?), someone I’m certain no one under the age of 45 has ever heard of, by the way, ripped into my source directly was one of the lowest, most despicable things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Shame on her. Shame on HLN. Ashleigh could have “talked” to me. She could have “talked” to my editor or my publication. But instead, she targeted a 23-year-old woman in one of the most vulnerable moments of her life, someone she’s never f—— met before, for a little attention. I hope the ratings were worth it! I hope the ~500 RTs on the single news write-up made that burgundy lipstick bad highlights second-wave feminist has-been feel really relevant for a little while. She DISGUSTS me, and I hope when she has more distance from the moment she has enough of a conscience left to feel remotely ashamed — doubt it, but still. Must be nice to piggyback off of the fact that another woman was brave enough to speak up and add another dimension to the societal conversation about sexual assault. Grace wouldn’t know how that feels, because she struck out into this alone, because she’s the bravest person I’ve ever met. I would NEVER go on your network. I would never even watch your network. No woman my age would ever watch your network. I will remember this for the rest of my career — I’m 22 and so far, not too shabby! And I will laugh the day you fold. If you could let Ashleigh know I said this, and that she is no-holds-barred the reason, it’d be a real treat for me.