No record of employee who wrote the blog accusing founder of sexual harassment: TVF

Devika Singh   New Delhi     Last Updated: March 30, 2017  | 11:00 IST
No record of employee who wrote the blog accusing founder of sexual harassment: TVF

The digital video start-up The Viral Fever (TVF) has said in a statement that it has not been able to find any record of the person who wrote the blog blaming founder Arunabh Kumar of sexual harassment. "It is a fact that we have found no records of any such person on our pay roll in that given time period, as described in the blog," the company says.

Last week, a blog had surfaced on Medium.com -- titled 'The Indian Uber - That is TVF' -- wherein a person claiming to be a former employee, with user name Indian Fowler, had blamed Kumar of sexual harassment. After the blog, many other women came out on social media and reported sexual harassment by Kumar. In an earlier statement, TVF had refuted the claim and said that all the allegations made against TVF and its team in the article are categorically false, baseless and unverified. The statement was widely criticised on Internet.

The latest statement by the start-up says that its initial response was a knee-jerk reaction. "Yes, there have been allegations of misbehaviour against our founder, from several women.  When the first blog appeared on March 12, it shocked all of us including our extended set of associates. The allegations were severe. We were confused and taken aback. The blog alleged that he/she was an employee with the organization and 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 and emotional.  We recognise that we should have handled that response better. However, it is a fact that we have found no records of any such person on our pay roll, in that given time period, as described in the blog."

TVF also said that it is investigating other allegations and has informed that it has in place an Internal Complaints Committee in each location to look into sexual harassment complaints by employees.TVF has about 240 employees and has offices in Delhi and Mumbai. "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," the statement said.

Last evening, TVF had informed that it has re-scheduled the release of its next series Bisht, Please! and also cancelled the ground event, which was to be held on Friday in New Delhi, to showcase the first few episodes of the series to media. TVF is known for introducing mini-series such as Pitchers, Rowdies and Permanent Roommates on YouTube.

Meanwhile, a Mumbai-based  lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui has filed a third party FIR against Arunabh Kumar as the women who have alleged harassment have not made any formal complaints. "In these kind of cases not a lot of women want to come forward and take any kind of action because they are so scared and worried about their name and reputation... So I also came forward," says Siddiqui.


 

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