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Is it #TimesUp for workplace harassment in Indian M&E industry?

Allegations of sexual harassment and indecent behaviour against admen, journalists and stand-up comedians have taken social media platforms by storm

Over the past few days, Twitter has been inundated with women from the Indian M&E industry calling out their harassers in a movement reminiscent of the one that brought to light the underbelly of Hollywood’s gender politics.

In what people are terming Indian M&E industry’s #MeeToo movement, many women since Friday have come forward on social media platforms (anonymously and otherwise) to shed light on the harassment they have faced at the hands of men in the advertising, journalism and the stand-up comedy circuit.

Names from the advertising industry started tumbling out when Twitter user Kalamwali Bai tweeted about Ishrath Nawaz, ECD, Publicis.

In response to the allegation, Publicis India replied to the Twitter thread, saying they were looking into the matter.

As is the case with other instances of the movement, once a name surfaced on the micro-blogging platform, it was joined by other similar accounts from women. As the movement gathered steam, a disturbing column on 22Feet Tribal Worldwide’s alleged toxic work culture surfaced on Medium. Written anonymously, the piece described in detail the unhealthy work culture the organisation and men at helm let foster in the Mumbai office of the agency.

Responding to a query from BestMediaInfo.com, an official statement from DDB Mudra, said, “On Sunday, an accusation of behaviours and actions that violate our code of conduct was levied against an individual at our agency, anonymously via a public post on a social media site. The accusation stands in stark contrast to our values and standards at 22feet Tribal Worldwide and at the DDB Mudra Group more broadly, where it is our primary responsibility and commitment to provide our associates with a safe, fair and dignified workplace. Within hours of being notified yesterday, we initiated the process of verifying the allegations and getting them investigated.”

Women have also come forward, accusing Creativeland Asia’s Sajan Raj Kurup of misusing his power and harassing them.

Creativeland Asia in an official statement said, “We have seen some of the rumours spread by certain individuals in anonymity linking the agency with events. CLA has a great gender diverse working culture, we are one of the most secure and coveted creative agencies to work for.”

CLA has a robust system completely independent of the management to redress, assist and support complainants, having the employees’ interest at its heart.

Twitter user Elisha Gada has also accused Famous Innovations’ Raj Kamble of misbehaving with her at Cannes Lions.

Famous Innovations replied to the allegations saying, “We are shocked. No such complaint has ever been raised at Famous by anyone. We are a small agency, and are very conscious about such matters. If there was ever such an allegation, we would have taken it very seriously.”

While these allegations remain just allegations at this point in time, some organisations have taken the cognisance of the situation and have acted in accordance.

All India Bakchod (AIB) issued an official statement on Instagram, saying their co-founder and CEO Tanmay Bhat has stepped away from his association with AIB in the light of allegations being made against him. AIB’s Gursimran Khamba has also been placed on temporary leave of absence pending investigation into the allegations made against him.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Statement

A post shared by All India Bakchod (@allindiabakchod) on

HT’s Prashant Jha has also stepped down from his position as Chief of Bureau after allegations of sexual misconduct against him surfaced.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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