Here’s the thing what fans and their love for something that is very dear to them force them to live in – Denial. It’s difficult for us to fathom the idea of our almost-perfect fictional world being built on something that’s not only immoral but inhuman too. It makes you feel that pit in your stomach, kinda similar to what you feel when someone you believe in so much, does something very unlike themselves.
When we found out Arunabh Kumar trending on Twitter, we believed it ought to be some good news. News that’ll up our game, news that’ll challenge our team to work hard and beat their team some day . But when we clicked on the link and saw something written on Medium by an anonymous lady under the name ‘The Indian Fowler’ , we were shocked.
I am not personally related to anybody working with TVF, yet, why did I feel betrayed? Thousands of fans who’ve waited for days, excited, eager, to watch the next episode of TVF Pitchers or have spent nights binge-watching Tripling would understand why. A company that produces a channel called Girliyapa – Run by women who makes sketches on topics that need public addressal (one of which we are currently discussing right now) is being run by a man who allegedly asked a 22-year-old for sexual favours? Ironical?
Before you even read the post published on Medium, here’s something a Journalist who attended an award show had to say something about him –
“I haven’t had any incidents with Arunabh . It’s just that once at an ET panache awards event, I saw the man quite tipsy and the way he was hanging out with the women around him seemed sleazy. I was quite taken aback then also.
I saw him touching the women in all good fun, but the way he was touching them didn’t seem very appropriate to me. His hands were constantly on the woman’s ass. And I’m quite sure that he didn’t come along with those women. Maybe they were his friends or whatever, but didn’t seem the right touch to me.
I don’t know the man personally. Neither have I cared enough. But when I came across that post, the first thing that came to my mind was that incident where I saw him tipsy and how he was touching the woman. I think as a feminist who understands the psyche that drives sexism, I could just join the dots. That the article seemed legit because I was reminded of that incident. I could be absolutely wrong about this. Maybe I read too much between the line. But my understanding of harassment helps me realise why the article could be true,” said the woman when questioned by Being Indian.
This gets us to the main anonymous blog on Medium where all of this started from –
“…Arunabh is sitting on a Chair in a casual manner. I walk up to him. He looks at me and asks me — “ Chaturbhuj Sthan ka naam suni ho”? I am stunned. For Non Starters, Chaturbhuj Sthan is the Red Light District of Muzaffarpur. I didnt respond. His second question- “Humko Chaturbhuj Sthan Bahut Pasand Hai. Udhar commercial deals hoti hain. Tum Bhi to commercial deal pe aayi ho”.
And something that we are absolutely sad after reading –
“I tell Kasturia that this is what has happened, and he laughs off. Says “Duniya hai. Hota hai” I just wished i could kill myself.”
And this is just one of the few things she’s mentioned about him in her blog.
A former employee expressed similar grievances whilst addressing her experience to Being Indian [It was earlier misunderstood by our team that she personally knows the lady who has written the blog, however, it has now been clarified that she was merely relating to the situation and is not related to the woman whatsoever.]. She said, “There is overt sexism and a disgusting work culture [in TVF]. I hated being there.”
And this, we can vouch for because we personally know this lady too. It’s also got a lot of comedians in the circuit to voice their opinion on women facing Sexual Harassment in their workplace. This included AIB founders Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, Ashish Shakya. Aditi Mittal is our hero here. She’s asking all the right questions to everybody who wants to know a little bit of this ‘truth’ everybody’s eagerly awaiting –
And TVF’s official statement is far less than convincing. In fact, it’s sad that they chose to end the statement with, “We will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations.”
Instead of calling this a statement, why don’t you admit you’ve sent her an open threat instead?
It’s also illegal to run an organisation and not have a committee that formally addresses the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
So, who do we blame here? A woman who chose anonymity because she knew TVF is too big a name to meddle with because you got to admit, trolling on the internet isn’t a pretty looking sight, stalking is easier, and justifying your actions is more difficult than it was before because apparently, ‘Feminazi’s’ have taken over the web?
As ardent fans express disappointment over someone who they truly believed to be a genius, we wonder how easy it is for men in suits to escape and hide from their actions so easily. How is it that the women feel naked once they expose them? How I, as a fan, feels cheated right now. I feel like everything they ever did was one big fat lie.
And if you want me to give anybody a benefit of doubt here, I’d give it to the woman who wrote the letter because if women don’t stand up for something they’ve similarly faced at some point in their lives, who will?
I hope we wake up tomorrow with a statement that’s as convincing as this woman’s open-letter. Something that doesn’t justify his actions, but justifies the fact that this was all, indeed fiction. Successful entrepreneurs are indeed, ‘regular men’ who women need to be saved from.