Comedy collective AIB updated fans that there will be no new sketches from them anytime soon due to no incoming revenue and operational costs piling up. Tanmay Bhat will no longer be their CEO, and Gursimran Khamba will not be associated with them anymore.
Bhat, it may be recalled, was suspended last October following complaints of not acting against sexual harassment allegations made regarding Utsav Chakraborty.
In a lengthy statement posted on social media, AIB wrote: “With no incoming revenue and operational costs piling up, we had to make some hard and unfortunately permanent decisions.
“We had to let our office space and entire team go overnight. Production, creative, administration, all of it... the AIB YouTube channel is for all intents and purposes, dead for the foreseeable future — there will be no new sketches anytime soon.”
The group, whose videos were a hit, further said: “If and when we decide to release other content on the channel (for example standup clips), you will be the first to know.”
The statement also delved upon the actions taken against Bhat and Khamba, who were both mired in the #MeToo movement.
Khamba, one of the four key members of the collective, was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman.
AIB said they had an Internal Committee and Anti-Harassment system in place from the start.
“However, we recognise that the culture at work may not have been perfect and simply put, we need to be better. To that end, we maintain that Tanmay Bhat’s lapse of judgement regarding Utsav Chakraborty was egregious. As a result, even though Tanmay Bhat’s suspension has been lifted, he will no longer hold a position of CEO.”
With regards to Khamba, AIB said an external committee was appointed to look into the allegations made against him in October 2018. While the proceedings of the committee remain confidential, AIB said that during the course of investigation, they were informed that Khamba had stepped away from the process citing issues with the procedure. Now, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya will continue to manage the remaining affairs at AIB, apart from pursuing solo interests.
Meanwhile, in a lengthy post on his Instagram account, Khamba stated he had ‘requested the committee to recuse itself and a fresh committee to be constituted’, however, when the request was denied, he recused himself and has now launched his next venture, Light@27.
“The past 7 months have been extremely challenging but eye-opening for both me and my family. An allegation was made by someone with whom I shared a deep personal relationship. Since the allegation surfaced, an informal committee was set up to look into it... I voluntarily chose to participate and began by extending all possible cooperation to this committee. However, this process which lasted 4 months was replete with procedural lapses and did not follow principles of natural justice.... I requested the committee to recuse itself and a fresh committee to be constituted. My request was denied and hence I was left with no choice but to withdraw from the inquiry.”
“With that — I am thrilled to announce the launch of my new venture Light@27!” Light@27 is a comedy consultancy which will offer content and strategy solutions across live and digital media,” he added.