TVF’s Arunabh Kumar in dock for alleged molestation of former employee, startup denies claims
An unidentified woman, who claims to be a former employee of the online entertainment channel The Viral Fever (TVF), has alleged that the company’s CEO and Founder Arunabh Kumar molested her several times during her two-year stint.
In her blog post going viral on the internet, the woman accused Arunabh of multiple sexual advances, and said she was asked to walk out when she complained to her bosses at TVF.
In her post, she alleged that the complaints made to co-workers got cold answers, and in one instance, someone laughed off the matter.
The woman, who goes by the name ‘The Indian Fowler’, said that she met Arnuabh for the first time in a café back in 2014. During the meet, they learnt that they both hail from Muzaffarabad (Bihar), following which Arunabh hired her who was then 22 years old.
The Delhi University graduate said in the blog that what started with a conversation where he said he feels lonely being a Bihari in Mumbai, quickly escalated to him telling her – on the 21st day into her job – that they should engage in role plays.
The woman accused Arunabh of molesting her many times over the two years she was at the startup. She chose to leave the organisation for this reason, but couldn't, thanks to a signed contract, she alleged.
"Three years down the line I understood he was hiring his "toys".
The woman went on to allege that even a threat of a police complaint didn’t stop the executive.
In a comment to the blog, TVF posted their official response to the woman’s allegations calling them ‘defamatory’ and ‘ludicrous’.
"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", they wrote on the blog.
The woman left the company in 2016 but claims that the firm’s legal team still sends her reminders about her breach of contract and fears that she is being tracked.
Soon after her post went viral, two other women have come forward backing her claim.
Aayushi Agarwal, an ex employee of TVF, wrote: “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 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 women. I would never recommend anybody to work there.”
Another woman by the name of Reema Sengupta also took to social media to share her experience with the man in question. In a long Facebook post, she wrote: “To everyone doubting if this is true, know that this girl definitely isn't the only girl he has been a sleaze to.”