Indian Comedian Utsav Chakraborty Accused Of Sexual Harassment. It Has To Stop!
Internet fame is a fleeting thing. There are times when the likes, the retweets, and the followers can bolster your confidence. And when you are a comedian, this can mean a joke is working, that it is being accepted, and that you are well on your way to Internet stardom. And perhaps because everyone works from behind the flimsy cloak of anonymity, it makes them entitled. Or it leads them to believe they have a(misplaced) right to ask for favours, sexual or otherwise.
And so popular comedian Utsav Chakraborty was brought down on Twitter on October 4th, 2018. The man in question was called out on one of his tweets by a woman named Mahima Kukreja. In a series of tweets, Mahima revealed the harassment Utsav has been subjecting women to, asking them to send nudes, as well as sending unasked for pictures on personal chats. And what started with one or two women speaking up practically became a movement within in a day, with plenty of women sharing their stories and showing support to those who spoke up against him.
Utsav was working with comedy collective AIB, and the group issued a statement as well. Several people from the Indian comedy circuit expressed their shock and offered support to the women.
— All India Bakchod (@AllIndiaBakchod) October 4, 2018
— Mallika Dua (@MallikaDua) October 4, 2018
Thank you @AGirlOfHerWords for braving it & bringing it out for everyone!
Utsav’s behaviour is unacceptable & actions need to be taken for the same.
I deeply feel sorry for everyone who went through this.
— Abish Mathew (@abishmathew) October 4, 2018
Later in the day, Utsav attempted to issue an apology — a bumbling one — which did nothing to pull him out of the grave he had dug himself into. A tweet he has now deleted. Later, he had this to say.
It's a little too late now but I am sorry. I really am. The past 24 hours were a crucible. I faced a very scary personal truth. I can't think of myself as a victim anymore. Please tell me what to do now. How to make things right? I don't want anyone to be hurt anymore.
— Utsav (@Wootsaw) October 5, 2018
The #MeToo movement has been a tsunami around the world, and India is starting to feel the ripples of it too. But are we ready to take allegations on the internet seriously? Will there be criminal proceedings against him? It remains to be seen.