This week’s Aziz Ansari story has fired up a very polarized debate, if the round of recent thinkpieces are any indication – just compare The New York Times piece “Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader” with Vox’s “The Aziz Ansari story is ordinary. That’s why we have to talk about it.” And considering most late night hosts barely touched the Louis C.K. story in November, it’s not surprising that they’ve avoided addressing the Ansari story so far this week. The exception to the rule is Jordan Klepper, who dove into the story, the criticism against it, and more with Guardian writer Jessica Valenti – who thinks it “is going to end up being the most important story that’s come out” – during last night’s show.
“Now there’s a lot of people in my world – there’s a lot of guys – who see this movement and they fear, like, are you taking away my ability to flirt, to have a little bit of fun? I mean, come on! Let’s talk about the real victims here: the men!” Klepper says. “A word I’ve seen sort of bandied about a lot is ‘criminalized’ – that we’re criminalizing a flirtation, we’re criminalizing relationships. Even the men who have been accused of actually illegal things have not gone to jail – no one has been criminalized,” Valenti says. “Yes, a few people have lost their jobs, but I’m actually more concerned with the generations of women who were forced out of their jobs or forced out of entire industries because of sexism and sexual harassment.” Near the end of the interview, Valenti offers Klepper some advice after he asks her, “How does someone remove themselves from the patriarchy? Is there like a formal process? Do you get a sponsor?” Check out the full interview above – it’s a tricky topic, but points to Klepper for wading into territory that other late night hosts have avoided this week.