Writer Behind Aziz Ansari Piece Sent Nasty Email to Ashleigh Banfield

On Monday, HLN host Ashleigh Banfield delivered a searing monologue denouncing an article on the website Babe that accused comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct. We now know the writer behind that piece sent Banfield a scathing email in response. Banfield read from the email on her show Tuesday night, quoting Katie Way, who wrote, in part, “Ashleigh — someone I am certain nobody under the age of 45 has heard of — I hope the 500 retweets on the single news write-up made that burgundy lipstick, bad highlights, second-wave feminist has-been really relevant for a little while.” The reason she decided to read Way’s email on-air, Banfield explained, was that, “if you truly believe in the #MeToo movement, if you truly believe in women’s rights, if you truly believe in feminism, the last thing you should do is attack someone in an ad hominem way” for their age or their looks. As journalists, she added, “We do not attack people for their age or their highlights or their lipstick, because it is the most hypocritical thing a woman who says she supports the women’s movement could ever do and that’s the caliber of the woman who was given all of this power and was able to wield this power.”

—Matt Wilstein