Yes it happened with me too. And I am speaking up after 13 years. Because long back I was a fresher, just out of college who got her dream job in Zee News. I wanted to learn, to work and make a mark for myself. I was too young and unaware to handle the challenges at work and the unpleasant advances of my boss at the same time. At that time I had no clue how to deal with all that.
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There was never a time when he would look at the face and talk. While walking across he would always try to touch me. I was working as the production executive and while our show was on air I had to be in the Production Control Room (PCR) along with him. He would sit next to the panel producer and I used to stand behind him. He would sit with his arms on the handle and rubbed his elbow on my thighs. If I shifted from my place and he would also shift to come close to me. The feeling was horrible. I remember how he would touch my back while leaning on the chair from behind for reading the script I typed on computer.
If I shifted from my place and he would also shift to come close to me. The feeling was horrible.
I never shared this with anybody. Not even to my parents. And today I cannot answer the question “why?”. It was my first job and loved my work. I began to distance myself physically from him. I used to talk to him from a distance, watch out for his advances, changed my position at the PCR but never had enough courage to speak about it. These experiences just made me judgemental about the senior male members of the media. As if all of them might be like that only.
After a year of doing well in reporting and editing he promised to launch me in anchoring. He asked me to come in a tube top the next day for audition. I was working on the entertainment desk so an entertainment show required this glamour, this is what he said. I decided to resist. I told him the next day that I am not comfortable in such a revealing dress. Understanding that it was a news channel, that kind of dressing was not a compulsion. Moreover being glamorous does not mean that I had to shed clothes.
After a year of doing well in reporting and editing he promised to launch me in anchoring. He asked me to come in a tube top the next day for audition.
Next thing I hear, was that I had to continue with my usual reporting and scripting. But the channel was seeing potential in me. And I was made an anchor for another show. My boss told me that now you have become an anchor you owe a treat. I said that I will treat the entire team but he said that I want a one on one treat. I reacted as if I did not understand anything. I also became the anchor for his show eventually and he kept on forcing me to wear revealing outfits. After a certain week when its TRP was low he told me it was because of me not looking glamorous enough. My stylist told me later how he would force him to get short clothes for me. He threatened him that he will be chucked out of his job if he did not get revealing clothes for me.
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I still feel disgusted thinking about his sheepish smile, double meaning statements and dirty glances. Ultimately he was thrown out of the channel for being too explicit with an intern in the channel. We girls celebrated his exit but he is still on a senior position in a leading online newspaper. How he behaves with his female colleagues now, I do not know but I will never be mum about any such incident happening around me is a promise that I have made with myself.
Featured Image Source: Columbia Journalism Review