TVF founder and CEO Arunabh Kumar found himself at the centre of serious allegations after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment a few days ago. Following an anonymous post on Medium.com, there have been at least five others who have come out publicly with similar allegations, ranging from him having groped a freelancer’s breasts at a party, to him asking a former IIT batchmate to strip naked and dance for him.
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
It is all the more jarring, then, that in the YouTube universe, Kumar has appeared to champion the cause of women in the last few years through his company The Viral Fever’s female-centric online shows. He has even maintained a “pro-women” virtual persona on Facebook and Twitter.
Of course, these posts celebrating strong Bollywood actresses and promoting the breaking of gender stereotypes are seemingly at odds with a man who allegedly makes a habit of sexually harassing women he interacts with... but, such is the nature of social media. Enough and more has been said about how people create personas on social media that can bear little resemblance to their real personalities. It might also bear remembering that in an era of commercialised feminism and women-centric TV channels, it pays for a CEO to play the part online.