In light of the allegations of misconduct against All India Bakchod founders Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba, the comedy collective announced on Monday that Tanmay will be stepping away from the business immediately, and Gursimran Khamba will take a leave of absence.
Tanmay Bhat is said to have been aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct against comedian Utsav Chakraborty. In an earlier statement, All India Bakchod accepted that Tanmay Bhat had knowledge of the accusations, and that he was informed of the harassment meted out by him to a woman who had confided in Tanmay.
“Tanmay Bhat 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,” they had said.
A survivor, who wished to remain anonymous, accused Gursimran Khamba of sexual harassment incident in 2015 and 2016 on Monday. On two separate occasions, he made unwelcome advances and she had to forcefully push him away. Later, he started to call her when intoxicated, threatened to ruin friendships, and emotionally blackmailed and emotionally abused for almost five months.
Read AIB’s full statement here by AIB’s Head of HR:
“We have been closely monitoring the sequence of events on social media around the allegations against AIB and also our Co-founder and CEO, Tanmay Bhat. 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 in 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 on 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 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.”
Meanwhile, Gursimran Khamba took to Instagram to deny allegations and also apologised.