#MeToo: AIB Sacks Entire Team Overnight
Comedy collective revealed that allegations of sexual harassment resulted in sponsors pulling out from being associated with them
India's most famous comedy collective, AIB released a statement on Wednesday, informing their fans on the current status of the investigations of allegations that were made against the co-founders of the group, Tanmay Bhatt and Gursimran Khamba. All the members of the group had reshared the update, except Khamba as he had withdrawn from the ongoing investigation.
Allegations of sexual harassment were made against Khamba by a former partner of the company, which forfeited his participation in AIB. Morever, Bhatt has also been relieved from his position as the CEO of the company but the temporary ban that was placed on him has now been lifted. As of now, only Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya remain at AIB, however, not in full capacity.
An Instagram post made by the AIB page read, " We had to let our office space and entire team go overnight. Production, creative, admin, all of it. This was particularly hard not just because making people laugh with us is a ton of fun, but because we had to say goodbye to some of the finest minds in the field, people we’d built dreams with for many years. One small point of pride in all this for us is that with the work they’d done at AIB, not one of them struggled to find another job. However, to that end, the AIB YouTube channel is for all intents and purposes, dead for the foreseeable future - there will be no new sketches anytime soon. It sucks, but it is what it is. If and when we decide to release other content on the channel (for example: stand-up clips), you will be the first to know."
The caption also mentioned, " We’d also like to state that we at AIB have had an IC and anti-harassment system in place from the start. However, we recognise that the culture at work may not have been perfect and simply put, we need to be better. To that end, we maintain that Tanmay Bhat’s lapse of judgement regarding Utsav Chakraborty was egregious. As a result, even though Tanmay Bhat’s suspension has been lifted. he will no longer hold the position of CEO."
It also addressed Khamba's withdrawal from the investigation. " However, during the course of the investigation, we were informed that Gursimran Khamba had stepped away from the process, citing issues with the procedure. The EC was unable to conclude the investigation on account of his withdrawal. Given these circumstances, Gursimran Khamba will no longer be involved in operations at AIB and will be working independent of us."
The controversy surrounding AIB and its team last year resulted in sponsor and other collaborators in cutting ties with them immediately. This, in turn, halted the company's main source of income, resulting in an overnight shut down.