Top exec at advertising firm in India apologizes for saying sexual harassment is just ‘part of growing up’

Chandana Agarwal, managing partner at Ogilvy and Mather. (Facebook)

The #MeToo conversation that has taken root on social media in the wake of the relentless barrage of Harvey Weinstein allegations is resonating with women globally. But one top advertising executive in India found herself in hot water after commenting on the viral social media movement in a post on her Facebook page. Chandana Agarwal, a managing partner in New Delhi for Ogilvy and Mather, said in the post that she had “many issues with it at multiple levels.” The post has since been deleted, but not before a screenshot of it was captured by a concerned employee of Ogilvy and Mather and then anonymously leaked to the website Vagabomb.

“There are some experiences that are part of growing up especially in India,” Agarwal wrote in the post. “This is should not be about that, things like someone grabbing at you or pinching you, that’s not abuse.” According to Vagabomb, the employee who leaked the post was alarmed by the viewpoint expressed by someone in a position of power at a firm like Ogilvy and Mather, which is known for working on empowering ad campaigns for Dove. The unnamed employee worried about what that would mean should one of the company’s workers report to higher-ups an instance of sexual harassment.

After deleting the post, Agarwal issued an apology on her Facebook page. She also posted a screenshot showing a portion of the apology on Twitter. “To be clear, I have no tolerance for abuse or harassment of any kind,” she said. “My intent was not to make anyone feel unsafe, or feel that if they were to ever face any form of harassment, I would not stand by them and act on it immediately.”

Read the full story and see the screenshot of the original post at Vagabomb.


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