Stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty, who has featured in videos of comedy collective AIB, has been pummelled by sexual harassment allegations on social media, with multiple women sharing their experiences. In his first few posts responding to the allegations, Chakraborty said “this whole thing needs patience” and “incredible amount of context”. He denied some of the allegations while admitting that “getting nudes from a person was an instant rush” for him. Utsav Chakraborty denied the allegations against him and urged the accusers to prove their charges. Comedy group AIB has accepted that they knew about stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty’s misbehaviour with women and still kept working on projects with him. The group shared a long post on their Facebook account, detailing how Tanmay Bhat, one of the founding members of the group, learnt of the allegations against Utsav and even confronted him about it.
It started as a Twitter thread about a group of Indian men’s obscene behaviour on board a cruise, which stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty condemned. An aspiring stand-up comedian user then decided to use the thread to talk about the sexual abuse faced by women at the hands of the male comics. “Saw this on my timeline, interesting for you to comment on how Indian men harass women. The irony is still alive and thriving. Hey Utsav. How many girls have you harassed, you vile man? These messages for a young girl I know,” she wrote. Some women claimed he had sent explicit and offensive direct messages on social media and asked for nude images from them too.
“Sometime after Utsav had stopped being an AIB employee, Tanmay Bhat received specific, detailed allegations about him in a private and personal conversation. Tanmay confronted Utsav in a personal capacity. Apart from Tanmay Bhat, nobody else at AIB was informed about the “specifics of the situation” out of “respect for the person’s [the woman who made the allegation] privacy”, AIB posted on Facebook. Comedian Kunal Kamra had taken to his twitter account recently and posted an apology message to the victim. In his post, he stated that he knew about the allegations against stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty but did not do enough.
“We are also aware that by extending safe working spaces and a collaborative environment to people like Utsav, we have contributed towards a toxic environment that can be scary and unsafe for women. And so we are sorry for any part we may have played in the tolerance or furthering of such behaviour,” AIB posted on Twitter, asserting that stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty is no longer its member. Stand-up comics Varun Grover and Aditi Mittal came out with their condemnation of Chakraborty and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja tweeted that it was “good on AIB” to issue a statement.