Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari has been accused of sexual assault. In an article published on the women's website babe.net, a 23-year-old woman writing under the pseudonym "Grace" said she went on a date with Ansari last September that ended up being "the worst experience with a man I've ever had." She said the two went back to Ansari's apartment, where the actor took advantage of her, repeatedly pressuring her to engage in sexual acts, despite her objections. "I felt violated," she said. "It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault."
On Sunday, Ansari responded to the allegation, saying he was "surprised and concerned" that she felt the encounter was not consensual, The Guardian reports. "I continue to support the [#metoo] movement that is happening in our culture," Ansari added. "It is necessary and long overdue." Jessica Hullinger
Actor Liam Neeson argued in an appearance on Ireland's Late Late Show Friday that the cascade of sexual harassment allegations against famous men in recent months has not adequately distinguished between rape or assault and milder offenses or misunderstandings. "There is a bit of a witch hunt happening too," Neeson said. "There's some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl's knee or something and suddenly they're being dropped from their program or something."
He highlighted the case of radio host Garrison Keillor, who was fired by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) over allegations of inappropriate behavior. MPR has not stated the nature of the accusation against Keillor, though the radio host claims he merely placed his hand on the back of a female colleague in a comforting gesture before he realized she was wearing an open-backed shirt. Neeson also said he is "on the fence" about the accusations against fellow actor Dustin Hoffman, calling Hoffman's alleged misconduct, which includes exposing himself to a 16-year-old, "childhood stuff."
Neeson concluded by saying he believes the #MeToo movement is "healthy, and it's across every industry," mentioning his experience as a United Nations goodwill ambassador as he described the "chilling" treatment of women in the workplace. Watch his comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian
Chief Justice John Roberts on Sunday announced that the judiciary system would undergo an evaluation to make sure that law clerks and other court employees were adequately protected from sexual harassment, The Washington Post reports. The statement, in Roberts' 2017 State of the Judiciary Report, came after a prominent appeals court judge, Alex Kozinski, stepped down last month after the Post uncovered allegations that he had subjected former law clerks and other women to sexually inappropriate conduct.
"Events in recent months have illuminated the depth of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, and events in the past few weeks have made clear that the judicial branch is not immune," Roberts wrote. Jeva Lange
Berlin's New Year's Eve celebration will have a women-only 'safe zone' to prevent harassment, assault
Berlin is taking a major step to prevent sexual harassment and assault at this year's New Year's Eve party after women were singled out in a spree of crimes at celebrations in Cologne in 2015. In order to prevent a similar situation, the 2017 Brandenburg Gate party will have an established, optional women-only "safe zone" at the event staffed by the German Red Cross, Metro reports.
Not everyone is on board with the plan. "Critics say it does not tackle the perpetrators of sexual violence," the BBC writes, "while some others complain it is discriminatory."
Additional security measures are in place to prevent crimes, including a ban on alcoholic drinks and large bags. Jeva Lange
Approximately a third of men who work full time admitted to behavior in the past year that could be considered objectionable or sexual harassment, a survey by Morning Consult and The New York Times has found. The men admitted to behavior ranging from telling inappropriate jokes to treating a woman "badly" if she didn't respond in a desired way to sexual advances. Strikingly, while many men didn't view their behavior as harassment, a whole one in 25 men in the workforce acknowledged themselves as harassers.
"Most harassment is not by high-profile celebrities," explained a lead researcher on the subject, Louise Fitzgerald. "This is so common in places that are very far from the spotlight. This is endemic." And while much of the behavior confessed to by men in the survey doesn't legally qualify as sexual harassment, "in general, frequency is the most important component," Fitzgerald said.
The most common behavior identified was inappropriate jokes, with 19 percent of men self-reporting, followed by sexist remarks at 16 percent, and displaying, using, or distributing sexist materials next at 7 percent. Twelve percent of respondents said they engaged in at least three of the inappropriate behaviors described by the Times in the past year, or engaged in the same inappropriate behavior at least three times.
In a separate study, almost half of all women said they'd experienced sexual harassment in some form at work. "Research finds that sexual harassment occurs when it is tolerated," said University of Connecticut psychology professor Vicki Magley — "that is, when policies are not enforced and when incidents are not taken seriously." Read the full results at The New York Times. Jeva Lange
In the wake of the Matt Lauer scandal, NBC staffers can now reportedly be fired for failing to report a colleague's misconduct
NBC has reportedly beefed up its harassment guidelines to protect staffers following the ousting of Today's Matt Lauer, who was accused last month of disturbingly inappropriate conduct. NBC employees who fail to report colleagues they see behaving inappropriately can now reportedly be fired themselves for "covering up," a person familiar with the changes told Page Six.
"Staffers have been told that if they find out about any affairs, romances, inappropriate relationships, or behavior in the office, they have to report it to human resources, their superior, or the company anti-harassment phone line," the insider said. "Staffers are shocked that they are now expected to snitch on their friends." The insider added that there are also "strict rules about socializing, including [not] sharing taxis home and [not] taking vegans to steakhouses."
Lauer reportedly took advantage of his position at NBC to make advances on female colleagues. Lauer "couldn't sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he's Matt Lauer and he's married," one producer told Variety. "So he'd have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn't ever complain." The guidelines are apparently intended to prevent similar situations from arising again. Read more about the reported changes at NBC at Page Six. Jeva Lange
Many of the top business schools in America have begun to incorporate the #MeToo movement into their curriculums, with companies like Uber serving as "a case study in both sensational business success and rampant corporate misbehavior," The New York Times reports.
"Ethics and values have taken on more significance," explained Georgetown McDonough School of Business professor Ed Soule. "It has to do with all of the things going on in this administration, often things that challenge our understanding of ethics and leadership."
The courses push M.B.A. candidates beyond traditional topics like marketing and economics and into studies of subjects like psychology. As one recent graduate from Harvard Business School put it: "There's a growing body of M.B.A.s who are really passionate about this. It may not affect your bottom line directly, but it needs to be affecting how you make decisions."
In addition to Uber, students look at cases like sexual harassment allegations at Fox News and a Google employee's memo that argued that women are less equipped for engineering jobs than their male counterparts. Read more about how the #MeToo movement is already changing business schools at The New York Times. Jeva Lange
Comedian and former Silicon Valley actor T.J. Miller is accused of violently sexually assaulting his former girlfriend while the two attended George Washington University. "We started to fool around, and very early in that, he put his hands around my throat and closed them, and I couldn't breathe," the woman, who asked not to be named out of fear of repercussions, told The Daily Beast. "I was genuinely terrified and completely surprised … [A]s someone who had only begun having sexual encounters, like, about three months earlier, I had no awareness this was a kink, and I had certainly not entered into any agreement that I would be choked."
The woman said the incident escalated into further violence that she tried to protest. Her roommates recalled the alleged incident — which eventually went to student court — with one saying: "My [other] roommate was in my bedroom with me and we heard a loud smacking noise, and we were concerned … The very next day when we talked to [Miller's girlfriend] she was very upset, and … had said he had hit her in a very violent way."
Another housemate, Katie Duffy, recalled: "She looked like she had been through a rough night — I recall seeing bruises [on her]. One roommate asked if she wanted to go to the police. Others offered to take her to the hospital, given how she looked."
Miller has denied the allegations, claiming the woman "is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again." The Daily Beast additionally reports that Miller has "privately joked about committing violence against a woman in his past" and that some female comedians have avoided working with him "citing a perceived history of abusive behavior." Read the full allegations at The Daily Beast. Jeva Lange