Woman accuses TVF CEO Anurabh Kumar of sexual harassment


The Viral fever founder Anurabh Kumar is in the news for all wrong reasons. He has been accused of sexual harrashment by his former employee at the workplace. When one girl took the courage to bring out the truth, seven more girls came out in the open and talked about his 'sexual favours' .

It all started when an anonymous post on Medium.com brought the ugly truth of the TVF founder. The post reads -

"I am abruptly called by Arunabh at 6.45 pm. I am in the local bank towards my home. He demands I come back to office. Apparently, I have not finished some part of my work. I reluctantly come back. There are three people in office. Two of them leave within five minutes of me coming in. And Arunabh is sitting on a chair in a casual manner. I walk up to him. He looks at me and asks me – “Chaturbhuj Sthan ka naam suni ho”? I am stunned. For non-starters, Chaturbhuj Sthan is the Red-Light district of Muzaffarpur. I didn’t respond. His second question – “Humko Chaturbhuj Sthan bahut pasand hai. Udhar commercial deals hoti hain. Tum bhi to commercial deal pe aayi ho”. I was getting where he was leading the discussion to. I avoided an interaction. I said “Arunabh, aap bade bhai hain. Meri tabiyat thodi theek nahi hai. Kya karna hai bataiye. Hum karke ghar jaayenge.” He suddenly holds my hand. Says “Madam, thoda role play karein”. The Ola team was meeting him and we were taking notes. He walks out of the meeting with some excuse and calls me for some notes. I walk up. He says it’s 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. I walk up to my bosses and tell them that I don’t want to see him, they simply ask me to walk out. I tell (Naveen) Kasturia that this is what has happened, and he laughs it off. Says, ‘Duniya hai. Hota hai.’ I just wished I could kill myself."

Exclusively speaking to ‘The Quint’ one of them revealed that Arunabh Kumar had groped her during a meeting. "I was in a meeting at Arunabh’s house with three other women. The meeting was taking place in the hall of the apartment. Arunabh left the meeting in the middle and went inside. Since he was gone for quite a while, I went inside the next room to call him. Suddenly, I felt someone from behind grope my breasts, and when I turned around, it was Arunabh. I was in shock. He was looking straight into my eyes. I rushed out of the room. The meeting resumed shortly after and lasted another 20 minutes. At the end of it, I walked out of TVF, never to return," she told the portal.

Another ex-employee made similaar accusation againt the TVF founder. "I have faced a similar experience while I was 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”. She quips.

 

Another lady exclusively revealed to ‘The Quint’, "Early last year, I was shooting with Arunabh in the TVF office, for a web series on people who changed professions to follow their passions. The first time we met at the recce, he asked me to send him my work, which I did out of courtesy. When we met on the day of the shoot, I asked him if he had seen the links. To this he said – why don’t you come over to my place and we can watch them together. We can also watch a movie. Which movie do you want to watch? I politely evaded the question and continued briefing him about the shoot. I had to speak to my producer to ensure that I was not left alone with him at any point of time. Later when I spoke to someone at my agency about it, she said that she too had heard similar accounts of Arunabh. At the end of that shoot, I didn’t retaliate and shrugged it off. On seeing the medium.com post, I realised that I shouldn’t have. If this is how he could behave with me, without knowing me, within 5 hours, I can’t imagine how he’d behave with women working for him for years."

It did not stop here. Another girl called Reshma Patra has uploaded a Facebook post, talking about the horrible experience she had when she went on a coffee date with Arunabh.

However, TVF members came out strongly in support of Arunabh Kumar. Biswapati Sarkar, well-known for spoofing Arnab Goswami, said that it was an ‘unverified article’, been written by a ‘non-existent person’. He wrote on Twitter: “Sensationalism > Facts. After working for two straight nights, I wake up to an unverified article written by a non-existent person. People sharing, calling us names.It makes for a great fictional story. I'm sure more anonymous 'ex-TVF' employee stories will drop in. I know a lot of people love the sensationalist story behind it. But sadly, it isn't true. But still... An image is tarnished. Some people will still believe fiction over facts and refuse to accept the simple truth. I am working really hard and I won't waste any more of time trying to convince random people about baseless rumours.”

Meanwhile, Nidhi Bisht tweeted: “5 yrs at TVF & no memory of who this Female employee is. It's a baseless fictitious allegation. Haters pls don't stoop down to this level :(“

Amit Golani, another member of TVF, wrote:“Utter nonsense and false claims on an 'Anonymous' post. There has been no such person existing from muzaffarpur working at TVF. The sad part is facts are no longer relevant as long as people get their dose of schadenfreude. People will realise the truth but too late Those wondering why the strong worded response. because there is no such person and this all seems very conveniently orchestrated. VEHEMENTLY proud of our entire hardworking team who have done in content what no one else has done.”

He further tweeted: “Journalists writing baseless articles claiming TVF doesn't have any HR team. Seriously Factually wrong and irresponsible. For a company that specially champions and has a woman centric channel @Girliyapa it's disheartening to see people question our culture.”