Updated: March 14, 2017 3:02:16 pm
Late Sunday evening, an anonymous blog claiming that the author had been molested by Arunabh Kumar, founder of the Web-based production house The Viral Fever, went viral online. The very nature of the blog and the people it spoke against made it an instant buzzing point in the online space. The anonymous woman wrote that she had been molested by Kumar in TVF’s Mumbai office back in 2014.
A day after the allegations were made, TVF made an official statement on the same medium, rubbishing the claim.
Watch Video: Woman Accuses TVF Founder Arunabh Kumar Of Sexual Harassment
In the original article titled ‘The Indian Uber- That Is TVF’ that has been widely shared on social media, the author writes, “Right from Pitchers to Tripling, i was molested. Be it in parties where Arunabh would try to lift me or would try and fall on me pretending he is drunk”, adding, “He walks out of the meeting with some excuse and calls me for some notes. I walk up. He says its time we do a quicky. I am stunned. And i told him i will go to the police. He says “Police to meri pocket me hai”. I walked out deciding never to come back. Then get a call from Legal saying that I am in a breach of contract. Even my Mom tells me not to fight them. Why? Because a 24 year old girl cant fight an IIT guy with so much of money. He calls up my father and tells him that i am making up stories. Whatever that means”.
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Jump to 2016, the girl seems to have had enough. “I walked out of the place last year. Jobless, Mindless. I dont have much to say. I am not as strong as many other women. I just need my life back. I dont think these guys would let me have one. The constant reminders from their legal on my obligations tells me that i am being tracked”, writes Indian Fowler, the pseudonym with which the blog has been authored.
Kumar is an IIT graduate who went on to start TVF, which produces popular Web shows like Pitchers, Tripling and Barely Speaking With Arnub. On Monday, the TVF team issued an official response on the “article published on Medium by the Indian Fowler. The article is completely ludicrous and defamatory against TVF and its team”, it said.
Users on Twitter and Facebook have given a mixed reaction to the incident, which is still unfolding. While some have called Kumar’s behaviour as unacceptable, others seem more sceptical about the authenticity of the claim.
One of the comments, written by Aayushi Agarwal, also empathised with the author, saying, “Hello Indian Fowler .. I don’t know who you are but I am also an ex TVF employee too and I have had to face a similar experience working there. I felt exploited and cheated and I left my job under very bad circumstances. I hope things have worked out for you. It is indeed no place for a woman. I would never recommend anybody to work there.”
The official response goes on to say, “All the allegations made against TVF and its team in the article are categorically false, baseless and unverified. We take a lot of pride in our team and in making TVF a safe workplace that is equally comfortable for women and men.
“We will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations.”
Well, it’s troubled times for the guys over at TVF, but it’s unclear whether the author intends to take any legal action against Kumar as yet or not.
In the meantime, though, after reading the Medium article, more women are coming out and speaking against Kumar in the social media space. One such person is Reema Sengupta, co-founder of a digital media company Catnip. In a lengthy Facebook post, Sengupta writes about how she was touched inappropriately during a shoot. “As I talk, he finds some lame excuse to place his hand on my hand (which was on the table in his glass cabin). In the middle of the shoot, he touches my shoulder tattoo and tells me he finds it sexy. After every other shot, he would come over to the monitor to see how the shot looks, but at the same time graze his hand against my waist. All this in a 5-hour shoot. I can only imagine what she must have gone through for 2 years!” she writes.
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