The #Metoo Movement is taking off in India in a big way with some famous names being outed by women for harassment. One of the biggest and most influential groups to be under the scanner is the comedy collective whose co-founder and CEO, popular comedian Tanmay Bhatt was accused of staying silent when a former member Utsav Chakraborty was accused of sexual misconduct by women on social media.
In response AIB sent out an apology and promised action in the future. However that was when Twitter dug out old tweets of Tanmay where he had made a ‘joke’ of serious issues like child rape. He was wildly condemned for it.
In another bomb, another prominent member Gursimran Khamba was also accused of sexual harassment by an anonymous woman. She alleged that they had dated for a while but continued to remain friends even after the split. However, she alleged that Khamba then took to harassing her, making drunk calls and resorting to blackmail.
Despite apologies all around, social media was furious. And now action has been taken. In a fresh statement, AIB Human Resource Head Vidhi Jotwani has released a statement which announces that Tanmay has stepped away from his association with AIB until further notice.
The statement read, "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 Bhatt. We cannot overlook Tanmay's role and in light of this, he will be stepping away from his association with AIB until further notice. This implies that Tanmay will not be involved with the day to day functioning of AIB or in any other manner."
"We have also just been appraised of the allegations against Gursimran Khamba on social media. At this point in time, these allegations pertain to a private matter, and he has released a statement of his own about the same. However, as an organisation, we believe that it would be prudent to place Gursimran Khamba on a temporary leave of absence until we have more clarity on the matter. We understand that disconcert of any kind of adversely affects the work culture and creates an unsafe space for our employees. Nobody should have to work in an environment such as that, and we hope to enable measures to establish our commitment to creating a gender sensitive workspace. We are in the process of consulting various experts to ensure that our work culture incorporates sensitivity, inclusivity, respect and fairness. As mentioned, at this time, both of our senior partners are immediately stepping away from all business at AIB. Truthfully, we do not know what this means for the future of AIB or whether there is one. In the interim, Ashish Shakya, Rohan Joshi, and other senior team members will work towards being able to answer that question over the next several months," the full statement read.
Is AIB finally in trouble?