Mumbai, Feb 4:
After removing controversial videos of AIB Knockout — a live filmed event — following outrage, standup comedy group All India Bakchod (AIB) Wednesday posted an open letter explaining that the attempt was to “push the envelope of comedy” in the country with “just jokes”.
The AIB team — Gursimran Khamba, Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya — via a 720-word letter posted on Twitter Wednesday, reached out to their fans and critics to explain why their decision to pull down the video was “pragmatic”.
“They’re just jokes. Unfunny, crass or whatever you want to call them, they’re still just jokes,” they said.
The letter comes after a three-part edited version of the ‘Roast’, titled AIB Knockout was posted on online video-sharing platform YouTube Jan 28.
AIB Knockout was a December 2014 charity comic event where filmmaker Karan Johar and a panel of comedians ‘grilled’ actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor on their personal and professional lives. The event raised over Rs.4 million and its videos went viral, sparking laughter in some and debate from others.
But the clips were pulled down Tuesday by AIB after Maharashtra Education and Culture Minister Vinod Tawde ordered a probe following complaints about the below-the-belt contents of the programme which was viewed by a 4,000-strong live audience, and which later generated over 8 million views on YouTube.
Even Brahman Ekta Seva Sanstha president Akhilesh Tiwari lodged a police complaint expressing anger at the programme hosts, who he said used abusive, offensive remarks loaded with sexual overtones during the comedy show.
Later, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena demanded an “unconditional public apology” from all those involved in the event, failing which the organisation would not allow their movies to be screened.
Stressing that “no one person or force forced us to take this video down”, the AIB team said that while the idea was to “push the envelope of comedy in this country” in “our own juvenile, idiotic way, but then the envelope pushed back”.
“Things got to a point where people who have supported us, people who work hard to make what we do come to life, were put in a position where things could get deeply unpleasant for them. And that’s a problem,” they added.
After the backlash, the AIB team received support from several Bollywood celebrities, who waxed eloquent against moral policing of the comedy event. IANS