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#MeToo: Organisers cancel 10-day city tour with comedian Jeeveshu Ahluwalia

A woman had tweeted that Ahluwalia had made her uncomfortable by asking her age, whether she was seeing someone, and why she could not wear “hot dresses”.

punjab Updated: Oct 12, 2018 16:25 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
metoo,harrasment,Jeeveshu Ahluwalia
Comedian Jeeveshu Ahluwalia(HT File)

With the #MeToo movement gaining ground, event organisers have cancelled a 10-day multi-city tour of comedian Jeeveshu Ahluwalia after he was accused of sexual harassment on Twitter.

A senior official of the PunchLiners team said, “Ahluwalia performed in Ludhiana on October 3. The remaining shows in other cities have been cancelled.” The show, titled Host to Roast, was to take place in Chandigarh, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, and Noida, among other cities.

While the Facebook gave “unforeseen circumstances” as the reason for this cancellation, Arjun Anand, founder of PunchLiners, said it was done due to the sexual misconduct accusations against Ahluwalia.

The organisers who are refunding the tickets, reportedly suffered a loss of over Rs 10 lakh due to the last-minute cancellation.

Describing an interview with Ahluwalia as “date rape”, a woman had tweeted that he made her uncomfortable by asking her age, whether she was seeing someone, and why she could not wear “hot dresses”.

The comedian apologised for his actions, saying he did not have an acceptable explanation for his past behaviour and he could only offer his apologies. “I am a professional in and out and cannot imagine committing any of the acts which are now being alleged against me. I do not know the reason or motivation behind these allegations but I can certainly underline and emphasise that there is no truth to these allegations,” he added in his statement.

Earlier this week, his talent agency, Big Bad Wolf, decided to “part ways” with him and issued a statement, “In the light of allegations of misconduct, Jeeveshu Ahluwalia and Big Bad Wolf Entertainment (P) Ltd have mutually decided to part ways leaving him time to introspect and address issues.” (sic)

Chandigarh resident and aspiring standup comedian Sumeet Gill, who had purchased tickets for the show, tweeted in support of the #MeToo campaign on Monday stating that he wanted to “boycott” the show and demanded a refund since he was “no longer interested in watching a person who indulges in sexual harassment”. Two days after the Chandigarh event was cancelled, Gill says he has drawn flak from comedians in his circle. “I’ve been blocked by Jeeveshu Aluwalia on Twitter. Two or three youngsters who were to perform fillers during the show lost out on a chance to perform here,” he said.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 16:25 IST