The Network of Women in Media, India, on Friday condemned The Wire’s decision for allowing journalist Vinod Dua to use his programme on the news website to mock the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. Dua, who is a consulting editor at The Wire, himself stands accused of harassing filmmaker Nishtha Jain.
On his show Jan Gan Man Ki Baat: Rafale Deal and Rising Fuel Prices, uploaded on the website on Tuesday, Dua said instead of questioning the government on “real issues”, the media was preoccupied with stories of “who sexually harassed whom years ago”. “A Union minister has also been named ... and there has been some muck thrown at me too... I will mention this too,” he had said on the show. In his closing remarks on the show, he said, “Some dirt has been flung at me – not of sexual harassment but troubling.”
Dua said he was suspending his show for a week to give the media organisation time to investigate the allegations against him.
The Wire removed the video and later uploaded another version of the show, editing out Dua’s comments mocking the #MeToo movement. It, however, retained his comments about “muck being thrown” at him.
The NWMI said the network stands in absolute solidarity with all the women who have chosen to speak out. “It is odd, to say the least, that while The Wire has said it will be constituting an external committee to look at the allegations dispassionately, Dua has been allowed to use The Wire as a platform to arrogantly dismiss the allegations, call them a figment of someone’s imagination and pronounce himself innocent, while setting a time limit of a week for any investigation,” the network said in a statement.
The network asked the news website to refrain from indulging in shaming the victim. “The complainant should be given sufficient time to make her complaint and present her case to The Wire’s external committee. In the meantime, The Wire should desist from allowing the accused its platform to belittle her allegations,” it added.