In a first big impact of the ongoing raging debate on what’s being termed as India’s own #MeToo campaign, Hotstar has cancelled its contract with comedy collective AIB.
In a statement issued on Monday night, Hotsar said, “In light of recent events involving AIB, we are cancelling the production of On Air With AIB Season 3, with immediate effect. We are deeply concerned by these development, which run contrary to our values as a responsible platform and will not stand by anything that compromises the respect or safety of women.”
Earlier on Monday, the AIB had announced that Tanmay Bhatt was going to step away from the comedy group in light of allegations against Utsav and him. A statement by AIB said, “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 with the day to day functioning of AIB or in any other manner.”
The statement by AIB also said that the comedy group had decided to send another member Gursimran Khamba on a temporary leave. This was after a woman accused him on sexual misconduct on social media. The statement said, “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 organization, 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.”
Khamba categorically denied “any violation of consent.”