The Mumbai Film Festival has dropped Rajat Kapoor’s dark comedy Kadakh and Chintu Ka Birthday, which was produced by the comedy collective All India Bakchod, following allegations of harassment by Kapoor and an AIB member and an associate.
The festival, which is organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image and will run from October 25 to November 1, made the announcement through a tweet posted late on Monday night. Both films were in the India Story section, which showcases independent Indian cinema.
Several women have made allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against journalists, film industry professionals and writers on social media over the past few days. Rajat Kapoor, whose films include Mithya and Ankhon Dekhi, has been accused of inappropriate behaviour by a journalist and an assistant director. Kapoor apologised for his behaviour on Sunday.
The comedy Chintu Ka Birthday, directed by Satyanshu Singh and Devanshu Singh, is AIB’s first movie project. The comedy collective announced on Monday that co-founder Tanmay Bhat would be “stepping away” from the group for not acting on a complaint of sexual harassment against AIB collaborator Utsav Chakraborty.
Another AIB co-founder, Gursimran Khamba, will be on temporary leave of absence following allegations of misconduct. An unidentified woman accused Khamba of sexual misconduct during an encounter in 2015. Khamba apologised for the “toxic relationship” but denied “any violation of consent”.
The streaming platform Hotstar also announced on Monday that it was cancelling the production of the satirical news show On Air with AIB Season 3 with immediate effect. “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,” Hotstar said in a statement.