It all started with an internet post by the former employee of TVF
On 13th March 2017, an anonymous post on Medium.com, accused The Viral Fever (TVF), founder Arunabh Kumar of sexual harassment. The post went viral. The writer, going by the name ‘Indian Fowler’, claimed to have been an employee at the TVF, which is an online entertainment media company
The post described in detail, specific events of harassment that occurred
For Instance, one of the incidents that occurred soon after she joined the TVF team was described as, “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 toh 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 post went on to allege that Arunabh asked for a ‘quickie’ during a meeting
The post continues to state, “Since then it became routine. 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. One instance was the Ola deal. 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 quickie. 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.”
The post received comments from a person called ‘Aayushi Gupta’ who claimed to be an ex-executive at TVF and alleged that the incidents described were believable as she was at the receiving end of sexual harassment by Arunabh as well.
Filmmaker Reema Sengupta also shared her experience on Facebook saying that Kumar did the same thing with her. Reema claimed that Kumar would find any excuse to touch her, try to keep his hand on hers and touch her shoulder tattoo terming it sexy.
Arunabh Kumar shuned the allegations as false
In a recent interview, Arunabh said that, “I don’t want to give any kind of explanation because media has already declared me as a culprit, which I am not. I am a heterosexual, single man. When I find a sexy woman, I directly tell her. I compliment women in my personal space and not from my workplace. If I like someone I will approach and I will not force someone”.
TVF also alleged that the accusations were false and baseless. They also said that they would investigate the matter and sue the writer for false allegations.
2 FIRs were filed against Kumar
After speculation that the allegations were just a PR stunt, an alleged victim finally came forward to lodge a complaint under the Section 354 (A) and 509 of the IPC against Kumar. Subsequently, a second FIR was filed after another woman alleged that Kumar molested her during an interview in his cabin.
Arunabh resigned as a CEO
On 16th June 2017, Arunabh released a statement on Twitter saying that he had decided to step down as the TVF CEO in light of the recent ‘personal attacks’ against him. He said he made the decision because he didn’t want the accusations against him to affect the TVF brand. He also stated that he had the faith and confidence that the truth will prevail in his legal case.