Internet post says sexual harassment at TVF

In an anonymous post on Medium, a person calling herself an ex-employee of The Viral Fever accused TVF founder and chief executive Arunabh Kumar of molesting her. TVF is backed by Tiger Global. 

She accused Kumar of multiple sexual advances, and said she was asked to walk out when she complained to her bosses at TVF. She added that complaints made to co-workers got cold answers and, in one instance, someone laughed off the matter. In a Facebook post, independent contractor Reema Sengupta said she, too, was a victim of Kumar’s inappropriate overtures during a shoot. In a comment on the Medium post, “ex-TVF employee” Aayushi Agarwal said she too had a similar experience.

The post titled 'The Indian Uber - That is TVF' looks to be modelled on ex-Uber employee Susan Fowler's post alleging sexual harassment at the US-based company. Fowler's claims are now being investigated by board member Arianna Huffington and an independent legal team.

'The Indian Uber - That is TVF' author says 21 days into the job, she was sexually harassed the first time; after which, sexual advances by Kumar got routine.

Kumar did not respond to calls for comment. The company denied all allegations made against it and its team. "We take a lot of pride in our team and in making TVF a safe workplace that is equally comfortable for women and men," the company said in an email.

It would "find the author of the article and bring her to severe justice" for "false allegations". The person has written that Kumar knows her identity.

Aditi Singh, communications manager at TVF, said the TVF statement dismissing allegations was not based on an investigation and no one matching the person’s profile in the post was ever employed at the company. Later, she said the company was investigating the issue and would not like to comment immediately.

“After working for two straight nights, I wake up to an unverified article written by a non-existent person. People sharing, calling us names,” wrote Biswapati Sarkar, co-founder at TVF, on microblogging platform Twitter. “It makes for a great fictional story. I'm sure more anonymous 'ex-TVF' employee stories will drop in.”

TVF's shows such as Bachelors and Pitchers have seen success in the online entertainment space. The company has raised $10 million from Tiger Global.

Awestruck by IIT Kharagpur's Kumar, she says he recruited her at the age of 22. According to her, Kumar hails from the same hometown of Muzaffarpur in Bihar.

The person says dropping out prompted calls from the legal department that she stood in breach of her contract. The reminders keep coming to this day, she claims.

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