In the wake of #MeToo movement in India, comedy star Tanmay Bhat will “step away from his association with AIB”, as per the statement released by the comedy group. Tanmay Bhat has been accused by a woman of not acting on complaints against Utsav Chakraborty, who was named for sexual harassment. Utsav is a YouTuber and ex-AIB member. The group also affirmed that Gursimran Khamba will go on leave, as he has also been named for sexual harassment allegations.
AIB released a statement saying, “We have been closely monitoring the sequence of events on social media around the allegations against AIB and also against our co-founder and CEO, Tanmay Bhat. We cannot overlook Tanmay's role...”
Tanmay Bhat, who had been in headlines before, would not be involved in day to day function of AIB or in any other manner, the comedy group explained.
The group had in an earlier statement revealed that Tanmay knew about the allegations against Utsav and had confronted the later for the same, but failed to take action. “…everything that came during our conversations all feel like excuses in hindsight and fact of the matter is that we messed up,” the group said in a statement.
Even after understanding the truth, neither Tanmay nor any member of AIB cut Utsav off and kept collaborating with him. Tanmay Bhatt confessed, “I should’ve ended ties then, and I didn’t, and it is my fault. I’m truly sorry. I should’ve acted strong.”
The group commented that Gursimran’s allegations were, for now, associated to a private matter. “However, as an organisation, we believe it would be prudent to place Gursimran Khamba on a temporary leave of absence until we have more clarity,” said AIB.
The allegations against Utsav Chakraborty has brought a turnaround to the comedy group. Since the issue surfaced the Twitter, AIB has been going through a rough phase of heated arguments among the comedy fraternity. The row of agitation has made AIB to put up more than one statement with either apology or defence.
Recently it made a statement saying, “truthfully we do not know what this means for the future of AIB or whether there is one".
Amid all the accusations and revelations, the group asserted that AIB has been consulting experts to ensure that the work culture remains sensitive, inclusive, respectful and fair. "We understand that disconcert of any kind adversely affects the work culture and creates an unsafe space for our employees. Nobody should have to work in an environment like that..."
AIB had been in news for quite a few times in the past and was adversely affected during the roast of actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. The comedy group even faced a flack of criticism and threats.