When Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president of original content, said Sunday that the streaming giant is interested in making another season of comedian Aziz Ansari’s show “Master of None,” her words raised a few eyebrows.
Ansari is one of many Hollywood A-listers to be swept up by the #MeToo movement, and in the past Netflix has been quick to cut ties with those who have been accused of sexual impropriety.
But when speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Holland said Netflix has “certainly given some thought” to bringing back “Master of None,” which Ansari created and starred in, Variety reported.
“We would be happy to make another season of ‘Master of None’ when Aziz is ready,” she said.
The news was met with mixed reactions on social media. Some celebrated the actor’s potential return, while others were more critical.
On Monday, Holland’s comments caught the attention of Donald Trump Jr., who claimed the streaming service’s treatment of Ansari is another example of Hollywood’s double standard for conservatives and liberals.
In a tweet, he compared Netflix’s handling of Ansari’s situation with how ABC dealt with conservative TV star Roseanne Barr. In May, ABC fired Barr and canceled her show, “Roseanne,” after the actress penned a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to President Barack Obama.
Ansari, on the other hand, has railed against President Donald Trump on numerous occasions, even writing an opinion piece for the New York Times in June 2016 titled, “Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family.”
“I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit to give Rosanne and other conservatives a second chance … right?” Trump Jr. wrote. “Yet another example of the rules only applying one way.”
Netflix is not owned or affiliated with ABC, so it had no say over the network’s decision to oust Barr.
Trump Jr. has been criticized in the past for comments about harassment of women in the workplace. In 2013, he said on a radio program that “If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce. Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position.”
Following revelations about his father’s comments on an “Access Hollywood” tape about “grabbing” women by their genitals, Trump Jr. said, “I think it makes him a human.”
Ansari has virtually disappeared from the public eye since he was accused of sexual misconduct earlier this year. In January, the website Babe.net published a story about a woman who had gone on a date with Ansari in 2017. The woman said she felt that Ansari had ignored “verbal and nonverbal cues,” and that his actions amounted to sexual assault. In a statement, Ansari said he got a text from the woman after their date and was “surprised and concerned” to learn that she had felt uncomfortable. However, he said he believed their interaction “by all indications was completely consensual.”
The Babe.net story was widely criticized for thin sourcing and overreach. New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss called the story “arguably the worst thing that has happened to the #MeToo movement since it began. … And lumping him in with the same movement that brought down men who ran movie studios and forced themselves on actresses, or the factory-floor supervisors who demanded sex from female workers, trivializes what #MeToo first stood for.”
While conservatives such as Trump Jr. may view Netflix’s treatment of Ansari as preferential because of his political views, the decision to back Ansari despite the sexual misconduct allegation surprised some, given the streaming service’s track record in the #MeToo era.
When multiple men accused “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct in October 2017, the actor was fired and filming for the show’s final season was suspended before resuming without Spacey. A few months later in December, Netflix fired actor Danny Masterson, who starred in the series “The Ranch,” after four women alleged that he raped them in the early 2000s.