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Aziz Ansari responds to woman's claim of sexual misconduct

Aziz Ansari, known for his work on "Master of None" and "Parks and Recreation," issued a statement Sunday in response to a claim of sexual misconduct by a woman he dated briefly last year in September. Ansari said the pair engaged "in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual."

However, in an online article published Saturday, the woman claims Ansari was aggressive toward her and forced her to perform sexual acts after having dinner at a restaurant. The article, posted on Babe.net, is titled: "I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life."

The woman, who described herself as a 23-year-old photographer from Brooklyn, decided to leave Ansari's apartment and the next day sent him a text describing that the prior night's encounter left her "uneasy."

On Sunday, Ansari issued a statement through his publicist saying he was "surprised and concerned."

"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay 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."

The statement concluded with: "I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."

Ansari appeared to reference the surge of headlines about sexual misconduct in various industries -- namely Hollywood. Most recently, the Golden Globe Awards and Oprah Winfrey's speech put the Time's Up movement even more in the national spotlight.

Babe.net reported that Ansari's win on Jan. 7 for best performance by an actor in a television series -- music or drama had triggered the woman's memory of the encounter. 

"It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award," she said. "And absolutely cringeworthy that he was wearing the Time's Up pin. I think that started a new fire, and it kind of made it more real."

Oprah Winfrey on Time's Up and the climate of change

Time's Up -- which began as a meeting of Hollywood women last fall to address sexual harassment in the workplace -- has become a movement for victims everywhere. Stars wore black as a sign of unity at this year's Golden Globes, and for one dazzling moment, the fight against harassment and gender inequality was center stage.

Winfrey asked, "Beyond raising awareness, how is this going to help the waitress, the farm worker, the factory worker, the caregiver? How does what's happening in the room with Time's Up affect the people who are watching this right now?"

"We have to maintain the momentum of this conversation, because they can't," said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, the force behind the "Star Wars" movies. "It's not only in what we're doing with a group like Time's Up, but it's in the content we're creating, the conversations we're having. We have to continue this work because we do have the spotlight."