After The Viral Fever (TVF) outright rubbished allegations of sexual harassment made against its founder and CEO Arunabh Kumar, there has been increased pressure on fellow members from the comedy fraternity to speak up on the issue.
Following the publishing of the article on Medium.com that accused Arunabh of sexual harassment, multiple women have also come forward with similar allegations and as such, TVF’s combative response to the allegations, and the silence of comedians on the issue has concerned many.
Echoing the sentiment, famous comedian Aditi Mittal in a series of tweets said that the silence from the comedy community on the issue is ‘deafening’. Questioning her peers, she said:
Silence from the comedy community is deafening.EVERYONE still"texting contacts"/"verifying facts" inspite of hearing stories abt it for yrs?— Aditi Mittal (@awryaditi) March 13, 2017
The fact that the diggaj-log of comedy who make videos & even take money from brands for their saleable feminism are quiet today is telling— Aditi Mittal (@awryaditi) March 13, 2017
Team AIB Reacts
Reacting to the call demanding the community to speak up, All India Bakchod’s Tanmay Bhat expressed his disappointment at the news and called for “a fair investigation” into the matter.
In a series of tweets he said:
@sayan31102k17 What's coming out is very sad to see. It isn't about one incident anymore - it's about a bunch of allegations— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) March 13, 2017
Much to process after all that's been read today. I hope there's a fair investigation that's followed in the coming days to come.— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) March 13, 2017
It is very hard for women to speak up against harassment at the work place and as entrepreneurs it is our duty to make them feel safe.— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) March 13, 2017
His fellow teammate, Rohan Joshi, also spoke up on the issue. Taking to Twitter he said:
TVF's rebuttal suggests no investigation of any sort. If they're all lies, what better way to prove that than investigate impartially?— Rohan (@mojorojo) March 13, 2017
@Femme_Furious Depending on what an impartial investigation reveals, one of the two people here is looking at (I hope) serious consequences— Rohan (@mojorojo) March 13, 2017
Sexual harrassment has no place at work in 2017. Any workplace with 10 + employees is legally bound to follow this https://t.co/Pr9mcfdXg7— Rohan (@mojorojo) March 13, 2017
‘Have Enough Women Spoken up for TVF to Take This Seriously?'
Indian comedian, screenwriter and lyricist Varun Grover on Monday asked “whether enough women had spoken up” for the TVF team to take the sexual harassment allegations against their founder Arunabh Kumar seriously. He also slammed the company for “threatening the anonymous victim” in their comment on the article accusing Kumar.
Have enough women spoken up for Team TVF to take the allegations of sexual abuse seriously or do they have a higher number in mind?— वरुण (@varungrover) March 13, 2017
Filmmakers Hansal Mehta and Apurva Asrani also commented on the controversy. While Mehta called for harassment at workplace to be “denounced”, Asarani tweeted that he’s sharing the article as he knows someone who faced a “similar ordeal”.
Harassment at the workplace must be denounced. Whether it is sexual, mental or the result of a person's perceived power over the other.— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) March 13, 2017
Stand-up comedian Kenny Sebastian pointed at the “casualness” around the serious matter which he said is “super scary”.
Comedian Kanan Gill, too, stressed on “creating a safe environment where people can voice their issues”.
It's vital to learn what sexual harassment is. The "harmless" things you think you say and do could be making people very uncomfortable— Kanan Gill (@KananGill) March 14, 2017