Headline News anchor Ashleigh Banfield and a Babe.net writer are trading public insults over a New York photographer's anonymous allegations of feeling "victimized" after a date with "Master of None" star Aziz Ansari.
Babe.net writer Katie Way first reported the charges against the comedian — drawing criticism from Banfield, who on Monday suggested the 23-year-old accuser had "chiseled away" at the #MeToo movement with her claims against Ansari.
"You had a bad date," Banfield said. "Your date got overly amorous . . . After protesting his moves, you did not get up and leave right away. You continued to engage in the sexual encounter. By your own clear description, this was not a rape, nor was it a sexual assault. By your description, your sexual encounter was unpleasant."
Video of the open letter was posted by Deadline Hollywood.
Way fired back with a scalding email to Banfield — and which Banfield read on air Tuesday, saying it gave viewers an "insight into the caliber of person who held that nuclear weapon that was wielded on Ansari's career," Mediaite reported.
"Ashleigh, someone I am certain nobody under the age of 45 has heard of," the email began, Banfield read. "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."
Banfield then scolded Way, saying "The reason I want to share that is because 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 her age — I'm 50 — and for my highlights."
On Wednesday, Business Insider posted the whole email from Way after Babe.net editor Amanda Ross said the comments Banfield read on air were "a fraction" of what Way sent to an HLN producer who'd invited her to discuss the story.
"The way your colleague Ashleigh (?), someone I'm certain no one under the age of 45 has ever heard of, by the way, ripped into my source directly was one of the lowest, most despicable things I've ever seen in my entire life," Way wrote.
"Shame on her. Shame on HLN. Ashleigh could have 'talked' to me. She could have 'talked' to my editor or my publication. But instead, she targeted a 23-year-old woman in one of the most vulnerable moments of her life, someone she's never f------ met before, for a little attention."
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