Five days after an anonymous article accused TVF founder and CEO Arunabh Kumar of sexual harassment and led to a barrage of similar complaints from other women, TVF has responded saying that the company is conducting an internal probe.
A day after postponing the launch of their latest web series Bisht Please!, TVF has asserted that they “have found no records of any such person on our pay roll, in that given time period, as described in the blog.” In what comes close to an apology but isn’t quite one, TVF also admits that their initial response on 13 March could have been handled better.
TVF’s latest statement The blog alleged that he/she was an employee with the organization & even indicated specific content production they were a part of. We immediately began checking the facts internally. We did send out an instant response, which may have been a bit too quick & emotional. We recognize that we should have handled that response better.
The initial response that TVF refers to was posted on the 13th of March, hours after the article surfaced, and had called the allegation “ludicrous, defamatory, categorically false, baseless and unverified.’’
TVF’s initial responseWe will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations.
At the time, TVF was widely criticised for their hasty denial and promise to “find the author.”
Threatening the anonymous victim, ridiculous reasons in defense ("we have a girl's channel"), silence on non-anonymous allegations. WTF TVF.— वरुण (@varungrover) March 13, 2017
TVF Dismisses Initial Complainant, but What About the Others?
After the first complaint on medium.com, multiple women reached out to The Quint to allege similar instances of sexual harassment and assault by TVF’s Arunabh Kumar. Responding to those accounts, TVF says:
Even as we were dealing with the first episode, several other allegations surfaced soon thereafter. Please know that we are sincerely looking into each one of them. We are committed to getting to the bottom of these allegations. Many of you have asked so we would like to confirm that yes, we have an ICC Committee set up in each location.
As previously reported by The Quint, Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee has filed a complaint to the Mumbai Police requesting an FIR and police probe against Kumar. A human rights activist has also lodged a complaint on the matter with the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission. A few of the alleged victims are seeking legal counsel as to the best way forward in the case.