Nearly six months after one of their biggest stars was accused of sexual misconduct, Netflix addressed the Aziz Ansari allegations on July 29, telling reporters that Master of None Season 3 could still happen, according to Deadline. It's the first time the streaming giant has spoken out about the allegations against Ansari, which originally surfaced back in January. It's also the first time they've spoken about the fate of Master of None. But while Netflix seems enthusiastic about the future of the show, it's unclear whether or not Ansari has plans to move forward with new episodes himself.
While fielding questions during the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour on Sunday, Netflix's VP original content Cindy Holland addressed the possibility of a third season of Master of None. "We certainly have given some thought to it," Holland replied. "We certainly would be happy to make another season of Master of None with Aziz."
The second season of the show premiered in May 2017, and even before he became the subject of a #MeToo story, Ansari was hesitant to commit to a Season 3. "[There's] just things that you get asked a lot. Like: 'What about season three?' Which is obviously a question people have to ask, but for me it's a little stress-inducing," he revealed in an interview with GQ. "Alan [Yang, the co-creator of Master of None] once said it best: It's like we just gave birth to a kid and they're like, 'When are you gonna have another kid?'"
In January of 2018, however, the fate of the show became even more uncertain after the comedian was accused of sexual misconduct. In a report published by an online publication called Babe.net, a 23-year-old woman (who chose to use the alias "Grace") alleged that Ansari had made unwanted sexual advances towards her after the two went on a consensual date. Grace went on to claim that she was "physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested," when Ansari attempted to engage in sexual activity with her while hanging out at his apartment back in September of 2017. "I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored," she said.
The day after their date, Grace alleged that she confronted Ansari via text message about her discomfort with their interaction, and shared alleged screenshots of that conversation with Babe as well. Ansari, for his part, confirmed that he had been on a date with a woman that matched Grace's description, but denied any wrongdoing. He released a statement about her accusations on Jan. 15 that read:
"In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.
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.
I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."
Based on Grace's report, Ansari didn't actually do anything illegal, but the incident soon sparked an important dialogue about this seemingly "grey area" of sexual conduct. It seems that Netflix has taken Ansari's statement to heart, and is ready to move forward and continue to work with him. Whether or not Ansari agrees remains to be seen.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.