Stand-up comic Utsav Chakraborty, once associated with comedy collective AIB, has been accused of sexual harassment by several women on social media. A YouTuber, Utsav Chakraborty has been accused of sending sexually explicit photos, including those of his genitals, to women and girls.
As the tweets circulated, AIB on Thursday said it would remove every video featuring Utsav Chakraborty. The comedy collective also issued a statement. Here is the full text of the statement.
A statement ; We're sorry pic.twitter.com/Lpa9HKyORb— All India Bakchod (@AllIndiaBakchod) October 5, 2018
"We would like to address something that's been said since allegations of sexual harassment were made against former AIB employee Utsav Chakraborty yesterday. It's been said that AIB knew of the accusations during his employment and failed to take action. We'd like to offer some clarity on that.
We messed up. Since yesterday we've been trying to introspect and process what we did wrong, and everything that came up during our conversations all feel like excuses in hindsight and fact of the matter is that we messed up.
Some time after Utsav had stopped being an AIB employee, Tanmay Bhatt received specific, detailed allegations about him in a private and personal conversation. Tanmay confronted Utsav in a personal capacity- which led to Utsav calling the victim, leading to further harassment. At the time, the accuser did not wish to pursue any further legal action. Out of respect for the person's privacy, nobody else at AIB was informed of the specifics of the situation, and the matter ended there. And so, as a company, we continued working with Utsav in a freelance capacity for a little longer. That's on us. We made a big mistake. We should have cut all ties immediately.
Since then, there have been occasions where we have heard stray insinuations against Utsav in the passing, in green rooms and in comedy circles, most of which were commentary on his unprofessional or confrontational behavious towards other comics. These insinuations were vague with no specific sexual details and no indication of the degree of sexual transgressions. And so we let our cognitive biases do the work our critical faculties should have. That should have been enough for us to listen, investigate, and take necessary action. We failed to listen when we should have and for that we are sorry. As senior members of the comedy fraternity, we could have showed better stewardship of the culture, by listening, instead of normalising.
This is the most honest account we can put forward of what we knew, how much we knew, and what we did and didn't do on the basis of the information we had. We made mistakes in how we dealt with this information and situatoin.
But, all reasoning beyond a point is just going to sound like we're making excuses. It does not justify any of our actions. We also completely understand anyone who has felt disappointed, or angry, or betrayed by us over the last few days. We're sorry."
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