Credit: Screen grab from Babe.net

Notorious Feminist Site That Smeared Aziz Ansari With #MeToo Story Goes Tits Up

“For girls who give a f—“

Babe.net, the website that published anonymous allegations about comedian Aziz Ansari’s sex with a date, is up for sale, TheWrap reported Thursday.

A fact sheet email to potential buyers said that Babe.net’s parent company, Tab Media, was “seeking a new owner who can take advantage of its large distribution, strong brand and reputation.” According to the document, the feminist site closed in December, though it has published some new content this year.

Neither CEO Jack Rivlin who sent the email, or a representative for Ansari immediately responded to request for comment from TheWrap.

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The relatively obscure website, whose slogan is “For girls who give a f—,” gained national attention last January when it published an article headlined ““I Went on a Date With Aziz Ansari. It Turned Into the Worst Night of My Life.”

Some readers credited the article with advancing the #MeToo agenda and exposing the comedian for selfishly pressuring a woman to have sex. But others dismissed the account as simply describing “bad sex” and faulted Babe.net for relying on a single anonymous source, identified only as “Grace,” and for failing to do enough reporting.

Editor Amanda Ross admitted at the time that the Babe.net gave Ansari just six hours on a holiday weekend to respond to the allegations against him on the Saturday of a holiday weekend, whereas the journalistic standard is at least 24 hours. The story initially ran without comment from him.

After the story was published, Ansari responded to the woman in the story that he would take “her words to heart.”

“It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said,” he said. “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”

A number of conservative news outlets published critical responses condemning the article as a “hit job,” and even some women’s rights advocates worried that it was a setback for the movement that played into the hands of critics.

Jezebel published an article, headlined “Babe, What Are You Doing?” that admonished its fellow feminist site to stick to “fidelity to confirmable facts, thorough arguments, and an abiding lack of sensationalism.” Otherwise, the post warned that reporters could “re-traumatize subjects.”

Ansari addressed the story again this week, telling an audience in New York Monday that it was still “a terrifying thing to talk about.”

“There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way,” Ansari reportedly said.

The Babe.net fact sheet invited “parties with a strong interest” to contact Rivlin directly.

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Cover image: A story on Babe.net’s homepage. (Screen grab from Babe.net)

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