Several women have stepped up to accuse The Viral Fever (TVF) founder and CEO, Arunabh Kumar, of sexual harassment after an anonymous Medium post with similar claims went viral.
The Medium post does not reveal any details about the woman’s identity, except the fact that she is from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, and that she was fresh out of college when she joined the company.
Countering her narrative, Kumar told Mumbai Mirror, in an interview, that TVF had not hired anyone from Muzaffarpur in the last three years. He asserted that TVF has asked Medium to ascertain the authenticity of the post. If the post is found to be fake, “it will be removed,” he said.
Multiple Women Accuse Arunabh
A few hours after the Medium article started doing the rounds on social media, filmmaker Reema Sengupta took to Facebook to narrate a similar incident involving Kumar. She alleged that Arunabh harassed her during a shoot last year.
“As I talk, he finds some lame excuse to place his hand on my hand (which was on the table in his glass cabin). In the middle of the shoot, he touches my shoulder tattoo and tells me he finds it sexy. After every other shot, he would come over to the monitor to see how the shot looks, but at the same time graze his hand against my waist,” she wrote in a post on Facebook.
Talking to Mumbai Mirror, Kumar conceded that Sengupta worked for his company, but rubbished the allegations. He said that the “insinuations” on the post are “untrue”. He further said that he is extremely particular about his behaviour. “I am a heterosexual, single man and when I find a woman sexy, I tell her she’s sexy... I will approach a woman, but never force myself,” he said.
Arunabh Calls the Medium Post Slander
Calling the Medium post slander, Kumar said that social media has already declared him as an offender. In the same vein, he said that he is “ready to address all the allegations” against him.
He further clarified that he is “open to receiving a police complaint” so he can respond legally. “If there is a remote chance that I have done any wrong, let me be prosecuted.” he concluded.
Twitter is Not Amused With Arunabh’s “Atrocious” Response
Immediately after the Mumbai Mirror story broke, Twitter was abuzz with reactions on the same. Most people picked on Kumar’s quote about being a single, heterosexual male.
Mr #TVF ji. I'm a heterosexual male. When I see a sexy woman, main compliment nahiN de paata. Meri phatt jaati hai. Please suggest.— maheep singh (@Genuine_Jokey) March 14, 2017
(With inputs from Mumbai Mirror.)
(The original comment to Mumbai Mirror quoted Arunabh Kumar as inviting “persecution” if found guilty. On double-checking with TVF, The Quint found that he had instead said “prosecution”.)