Mumbai

Comedy show contestant alleges sexual harassment

Photo for representational purpose only.

Photo for representational purpose only.  

She has accused two crew members

A participant in a stand-up comedy competition on a television channel took to Twitter on Wednesday to make allegations of sexual harassment against two crew members of the show.

In a series of tweets from her account, the victim identified the perpetrators as senior supervising producer Shelraj Patel of Viacom18 and Nishchint Sohal, the creative director of the show, and said they harassed her at a party on the last day of the shoot on September 6.

“After some time the gathering had started, everyone was chatting. Nishchint Sohal (who I have never shared any personal space with ever before) casually comes to me from his back and sits on my lap while engaging in a conversation with someone else. Yes, randomly. I froze in that moment, trying to process what just happened in an extremely casual manner, and the reaction to my feeling of violation which started in that moment, was to simply shrug it away defending my own harassment and rather questioning myself – Am I overthinking?” her post read.

She said another contestant came to her rescue and asked Mr. Sohal to get up in a manner which wouldn’t seem offensive. The victim said she then decided to leave the party with her boyfriend but Mr. Patel insisted that she stay.

“I politely refused saying we have some work to be done, if that gets over I come back. I said that because I thought that it will help me leave quicker. To which he replies at the top of his voice, Tum log sex karne ke liye jaa rahe ho na? Baadmein kar lena yaar! Areh mujhe kya ******* bana rahi hai. Tu waapas nahi aane wali (You’re going to have sex, aren’t you? Do it later. Who are you fooling? You’re not coming back). He was also using his hands to mimic his understanding of coitus in a perverted action form while saying these words. He kept on saying this on a loop for almost five minutes until I physically exited the house knowing he won’t stop,” her post said.

The victim said she never thought she would have the courage to report the matter but couldn’t handle the trauma of working with the duo again. The finale of the competition is yet to be shot and was slated for November.

Replying to the allegations, Viacom18 tagged the victim’s tweet and said, “At Viacom18, we aim to uphold the dignity and integrity of our employees and all those whom we engage with. We do NOT tolerate any transgressions in this regard. Be rest assured that the allegations are being investigated and we are looking into the matter. An appropriate action will be taken as soon as the enquiry is complete.”

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:13:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/comedy-show-contestant-alleges-sexual-harassment/article29903288.ece

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