CNN Reporter Ashleigh Banfield is getting mixed reactions to a monologue she shared on HLN. In response to allegations of sexual assault being levied against comedian Aziz Ansari, Ashleigh Banfield has called out "Grace" for turning an "unpleasant" experience into a much more serious ordeal.
"You did not get up and leave right away. You continued to engage in a sexual encounter. By your own clear encounter, this was not a rape, nor was it a sexual assault. By your description, your sexual encounter was unpleasant"..."Is that what victimized you to the point of seeking a public conviction and a career-ending sentence against him? Is that truly what you thought he deserved for your night out?"
Banfield goes on to levy some serious heat against the accuser, that this story undermines the actual identity of the movement.
“But what you have done, in my opinion, is appalling,” she said. “You have chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all of my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades, a movement that has finally changed an oversexed professional environment that I, too, have struggled through at times over the last 30 years.”
Reviews to Banfield's segment have been mixed, as some are calling her out for minimzing Grace's experience and excusing Ansari's behavior.
As someone whose been through the exact same kind of bad date as “Grace” as well as a situation much worse with 2 guys I didn’t know in a hotel far from where I lived, her story does NOT detract from the #MeToo movement and I’m appalled Ashleigh Banfield suggested it was.— busan’s drinking water is spiked. (@mariahjenae) January 16, 2018
I have truly admired Ashleigh Banfield for giving a platform to survivors of sexual assault (like the Stanford survivor), but today she engaged with an antiquated idea of consent that does not acknowledge coercion or the varied reactions humans have to a traumatic event. [Thread]— Katherine M. Jiménez (@MsKatherineMJ) January 16, 2018
Others however applaud her, as a woman, for standing up against the way Grace's story was shared.
Ashleigh Banfield's reply/personal opinion to Aziz Ansari's alleged accuser was so on point I couldn't have said it any better myself. didn't sugar coat shit she said it exactly how it is and that's what we need more of these days.— kiara (@kiaraDoxtator) January 15, 2018
As I read the woman’s story, I too thought, “he has shown you what he’s looking for, why are you staying”?— Lunch Money (@whatsgoingon00) January 16, 2018
Many of us have been surprised by a date’s unwanted behavior. It is up to each of us to know how to say “no” and leave and to take care of ourselves.
So what do you think? Does Banfield have a point? Or is she undermining the #MeToo movement by trying to define someone else's experience?
Either way, I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this story.