Comedian Krushna Abhishek on Wednesday defended "Comedy Nights Bachao", a show that he co-hosts, after Tannishtha Chatterjee rued its "regressive and blatantly racist" ways of finding humour in her "dark skin tone". He has, however, apologised to the actress.
Krushna was not present on the sets of the show when Tannishtha was "roasted" on the comedy show. She was accompanied on the show by her "Parched" team members, actress Radhika Apte and director Leena Yadav on Tuesday. A day after she shot for the show, Tannishtha took to social media to slam the format for its racist attack.
Reacting to it, Krushna told the media in Mumbai: "If she (Tannishtha) feels offended by something, I apologise from our side. We never want to hurt anyone deliberately. 'Comedy Nights Bachao' is of a roast format. Roast doesn't mean that we say just anything to anyone...
"I had asked Tannishtha, if she has seen the show, she said she doesn't watch TV as such. So, she has no clue about the show. So I took another example and asked her if she had seen AIB Roast? And she hadn't seen that either. I told her that since it's a roast, there will be some leg pulling, but we don't insult. Had we been insulting, the show won't have come so far."
The actress has said that she had some inkling of a roast courtesy "Saturday Night Live" show, and that with "Comedy Nights Bachao", she was looking forward to be 'roasted' as her perception was that a roast is "a celebratory humour at someone's expense" and "a mock counter to a toast".
Pointing out that the only thing they could roast about a dark-skinned actress was "of course her dark skin", she said in a Facebook post: "This was an entirely novel understanding of roast that equates itself with bullying. And to my utmost horror, I soon realised that the only quality they found worth roasting about in me was my skin tone. It began with, 'Aap ko jamun bahut pasand hoga zaroor...?'"
Krushna said the new second season of "Comedy Nights Bachao" has been mellowed down due to its film integrations.
"When a show comes, 90 per cent people praise the show, but then 10 per cent say they didn't like it. So maybe she didn't like the format," said the nephew of comedy star Govinda.
Krushna said there are actors who take roasts sportingly.
"When Varun Dhawan came for 'Dilwale', Varun himself came up to me and said that he is very excited and looking forward to the roast. Even SRK chose to come to our show for 'Fan'.
"I don't know what hurt Tannishtha, because I wasn't performing then. But I apologise if it has hurt her, though it wasn't a deliberate attempt," he added.