The Viral Fever has been known for their creative web content over the years. From Pitchers to Permanent Roommates, the work of TVF has always been loved by the web audiences. But the whole controversy started when The Viral Fever CEO Arunabh Kumar has been accused of molestation in an anonymous blog post by an ex-employee of the company. The list of allegations of sexual harassment against The Viral Fever and CEO Arunabh Kumar is increasing day by day. According to a Mid-Day report, there have been more than 50 allegations against the TVF Founder till now.
An Ex-employee of the TVF written about her experiences with Arunabh in an Anonymous blog titled as ‘The Indian Uber – That is TVF’. She claimed in the blog that she joined The Viral Fever when she was 22 years old and fresh out of college. She admired TVF CEO Arunabh Kumar as he was from her hometown Muzzafarnagar and he had become quite famous in the Mumbai. The girl also said in the blog that she was called back after the working hours by saying that she haven’t completed her work by the Kumar. The CEO allegedly implied that she should sleep with him.
“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 (Have you heard of Chaturbhuj sthan)”? I am stunned. 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 like Chaturbhuj sthan a lot. Commercial deals take place there. You too are here on a commercial deal).” I was getting where he was leading the discussion too. 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 (Arunabh, you are the elder brother. I am not feeling very well. Tell me what work you want done. I’ll do it and go home).” He suddenly holds my hand. Says “Madam, thoda role play karein (Madam, let’s do a bit of role-playing)”. I was stunned. None of this was something I had ever asked for. I ran away. Locked myself in the toilet and cried. He went away. But I was thinking why the hell he is after me? What did I do to make this happen to me? That was the longest night of my life,” said in her blog.
She also said that the harassment was continued and whenever she tried to fight against it, she was told that it was in breach of her contract. The girl complained about all this to other colleagues in the office, but no one supported her. Even her parents haven’t supported her. The girl added in the blog that she left the job last year as she needs her life back. This post of the girl received the enough support and empowered overnight every other woman who also had the same experiences with the CEO Arunabh Kumar.
A girl named Reema Sengupta shared a post recently in which she talked about her experience of working with the CEO Kumar. Sengupta said that she was directing a web series last year and was shooting with the CEO Arunabh in the TVF office. She said in that five hours shoot the CEO many of the times touched her inappropriately. Reema said when she first met with him for the recce, he asked her to send the samples of her previous work and she does the same for courtesy. When Sengupta asked the CEO that did he checked his work or not, then CEO Kumar said that you come to my office or we can also watch a movie together. Later on the shoot, Kumar tries to put his hands on the girl through lame excuses. She also added that he tried to touch her shoulder tattoo by saying that he has found it very sexy. Sengupta added that after every other shot, the CEO comes over to the monitor to see his shot and graze his hand against her waist. Sengupta solved the issue by complaining to the producer and she never worked alone again.
Another woman, Ayushi Agarwal, commented on The Indian Fowler’s post and said that she had to face the same experience too. One woman named as ‘Rafiya Khan’ took Facebook to describe her experience. She said that he tried to touch her inappropriately, but she immediately said no to him.
The Viral Fever founder and CEO take in hand the accusations and said that he compliments women for being ‘sexy’, which is not going well with the social media people. Kumar said to the Mumbai Mirror, “The kind of insinuations the FB posts make are untrue. I am heterosexual, a single man and when I found any woman sexy, I tell her she’s sexy. I compliment women. Is that wrong? Having said that, I am very particular about my behavior – I will approach a woman, but never force myself.”
The Mumbai Police commissioner Dutta Padsalgikar said that the formal complaint is very important in these cases to start the investigation. He added that the police have been asking the victims to come forward so that law can start its work.