"To be honest, from all accounts, I've been a piece of shit," Utsav Chakraborty tweeted
Stand-up comic Utsav Chakraborty, who has featured in videos of comedy collective All India Bakchod (AIB), has been pummelled by sexual harassment allegations on social media, with multiple women sharing their experiences.
The comedian has been accused of sending unsolicited pictures of his genitals to women and girls. The allegations surfaced as part of a Twitter thread about the way a large group of Indian men behaved on a cruise in Australia.
In a series of tweets, Utsav Chakraborty has oscillated between defiance and contrition.
"To be honest, from all accounts, I've been a piece of shit. And I will try to do everything I can work past that. There was no excuse. I know inconsiderate and entitled. Even in this narrative, when this whole thing started, I kept looking at myself as the victim," he tweeted last night.
This morning, he lashed out that he was "ready to take the due course of law" if some of the allegations could be proved in any way.
AIB, in a statement, said it would remove every video featuring Chakraborty, whose behaviour had been unacceptable.
"We are also aware that by extending safe working spaces and a collaborative environment to people like Utsav, we have contributed towards a toxic environment that can be scary and unsafe for women. And so we are sorry for any part we may have played in the tolerance or furthering of such behaviour," AIB posted on Twitter.
The group said it would fully support any investigation. It also clarified that Chakraborty never worked as a head writer and is no longer a part of the organisation.
The allegations against Chakraborty started surfacing with a woman's post that he had sent a photo of his genitals.
Soon, it became a #MeToo ripple and then a tide of charges.
Some women claimed he had sent explicit and offensive direct messages on social media and asked for nude images from them too.
Taking note of the posts, the Mumbai police tweeted: "We will look into this on priority."
The police also tweeted to the first woman who had posted her experience, saying, "We have followed you. Request you to inbox your number. We will look into this on priority."
In his first few posts responding to the allegations, Chakraborty said "this whole thing needs patience" and "incredible amount of context".
Stand-up comics Varun Grover and Aditi Mittal called out Chakraborty and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja tweeted that it was "good on AIB" to issue a statement.
A fellow comic, Abhishek Upamanyu, wrote: "Everything is true. And also that a lot of people knew and still worked with him."
He said he had called him out on the explicit messages on a Facebook group.
Comedienne Mallika Dua tweeted: "I feel sick and scared and angry and ashamed. Where the hell do men get this audacity from? Oh yes from society."
The allegations against Chakraborty have emerged when the Hindi film industry is in the middle of a raging debate after former actress Tanushree Dutta's claim of being sexually harassed by veteran actor Nana Patekar.
It led to hopes of India's very own #MeToo movement, which a range of celebrities have already supported, but not so far named and shamed.
The globally popular #MeToo movement began with The New York Times reporting a year ago on October 5 about allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, with incidents dating back to 1990.