At a TCA event this weekend, Netflix programming executive Cindy Holland said that the streaming site would "be happy" to make a third season of Aziz Ansari's Master of None. Holland did not elaborate, per reports, on when the drama would return, or if Ansari is even interested.
Ansari's future with Netflix has been dubious ever since January 2018, when the website Babe.net published one woman's account of a date with Ansari. The woman, who goes by Grace in the article, claimed that the date was the worst night of her life. She recalled feeling "pressured" to perform oral sex on Ansari and getting increasingly uncomfortable during their time together. Following the date, the woman told Ansari over text that she'd felt uncomfortable, and Ansari apologised. (Babe.net published screengrabs of this text conversation.)
The publication of the article prompted Ansari to release a statement acknowledging the situation.
"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," he said. "I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."
The article itself spawned a series of conversations about sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and sexual misconduct reporting. The Atlantic published an opinion editorial in support of Ansari, as did the New York Times. Lily Herman, writing for Refinery29, pointed out that the date illustrated the complicated nature of consent. On Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Bee delivered a fiery monologue arguing that Ansari might not be guilty of a crime, but that doesn't mean women can't talk about his sexual missteps. (Representation for Ansari did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)
"People like me had to wade through a sea of prehensile dicks to build the world we now enjoy," Bee said. "And part of enjoying that world is setting a higher sex than just 'not rape.' And women get to talk about it if men don't live up to those standards!"
Following the controversy, Ansari strayed away from the spotlight. He skipped the 2018 Golden Globes, despite being nominated, and hasn't given an interview in months. In May, he reportedly returned to standup in New York City, the first sign that Ansari will be staging a comeback. His case is complicated; he was never fully, as the kids say, "cancelled." He was just the focal point of a viciously blurry debate, and no one publication has decided what to do with him. As such, there's room for him to return. When he came back to standup, a couple of audience members told Refinery29 that he joked about "outrage fatigue" and his current long distance relationship.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.