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Amid sexual harassment claims, Hotstar cancels AIB’s show, MAMI drops the group and Rajat Kapoor

As #MeToo movement gains momentum, AIB’s web show has been cancelled by Hotstar while MAMI Film Festival will not screen Rajat Kapoor and the comedy group’s films.

tv Updated: Oct 09, 2018 10:36 IST
AIB,On AIR with AIB,Rajat Kapoor
AIB and Rajat Kapoor’s films have been dropped from MAMI festival after allegations of sexual harassment.

Video streaming service Hotstar announced Monday it was cancelling the production of third season of On Air with AIB in light of the allegations of misconduct against one of the members of the comedy group. The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) has also announced that they are dropping two films -- AIB’s Chintu Ka Birthday and Rajat Kapoor’s Kadakh -- from the line-up of the upcoming 20th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

While Kapoor has been called out by two women for inappropriate behavior, comedy collective AIB landed in a full-fledged controversy after a woman named Utsav Chakraborty -- once associated with the group -- was accused by a number of women, including minors, of sexual harassment. The victims also revealed how AIB’s CEO and co-founder Tanmay Bhat knew about it all along but did nothing. It even opened up a box of complaints against some of the group’s other comedians, notably Gursimran Khamba.

AIB’s On Air With AIB axed

In a statement, Star India’s streaming platform Hotstar said it “will not stand by anything” that compromises the respect or safety of women. “In light of recent events involving AIB, we are cancelling the production of On Air with AIB Season 3, with immediate effect,” the statement said.

“We are deeply concerned by these developments, which run contrary to our values as a responsible platform, and will not stand by anything that compromises the respect or safety of women,” it said. The comedy group announced on Monday that two of its founding members Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba were stepping away from the organisation.

While Bhat has come under attack for his inaction in the complaints against writer-comedian Utsav Chakraborty, Khamba has been directly accused of misconduct.

AIB in a statement said Bhat will not be involved with the day-to-day functioning of the company. The company has placed Khamba on a temporary leave of absence “until we have more clarity on the matter”.

MAMI drops AIB, Rajat Kapoor’s films

The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) has dropped two films – an AIB and a Rajat Kapoor production -- from the line-up of the upcoming 20th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in the wake of the #MeToo tide.

“We as an Academy (MAMI) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop the following films from our line-up -- AIB’s Chintu Ka Birthday and Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Kadakh’,” read a statement from MAMI.

“We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation, and find solutions to harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace. Starting with this edition of the festival, we would like to unite the community to find positive and constructive ways to deal with it,” the statement read further.

First Published: Oct 09, 2018 10:35 IST