Several female Instagram users have accused well-known photographer Prashanth of sexual harassment, alleging that he has sent them obscene pictures and videos. The allegations come from aspiring model Saranya Ravichandran, who has released screenshots of conversations between the photographer and various women.
Chennai-based photographer Prashanth Ravi, who goes by the name of Prashanth Bionic, released a statement apologizing for his actions. In the post, he said that he regrets and is ashamed of what he did but denies any misconduct on his part as a professional photographer.
On October 23rd Aspiring fashion model Saranya accused Ravi, a photographer with over three lakh Instagram followers, of sending her obscene pictures and videos.
Saranya shared a post that included screenshots of an old chat conversation between herself and Prashant. The aspiring model said that she thought it was just harmless flirtation at the time, but now regrets not doing anything about it. Saranya said that she feels guilty now as the situation has gotten progressively worse over time.
Furthermore, Saranya says that the photographer is acting like a victim by implying some of the screenshots she shared are fake. “This wouldn’t stop here unless we take a stand against people like him. There’s a perception that this industry itself is like this. But, that’s not true. I have met many many good photographers and artists, who are respectful and make you feel very safe and comfortable. A huge shoutout to such people who strive to make this a safe space for many women out there!” Saranya said in her post.
“But, like every other industry, there are people like this and can’t believe the audacity this fellow has to go around talking like this for years, at this time and age where everything gets exposed so easily. You can see every woman politely turning him down and yet he doesn’t stop. Again, I’m not here to say men (or women) cannot express their feelings or make a move. Just do it respectfully with the consent of the opposite gender. You’d know when Someone’s not interested or uncomfortable, and learn to take a ‘NO’. I hope people like this guy would think twice before doing something like this again. I hope this reaches more people” her post read.
When Saranya uploaded the screenshots, other women responded with similar stories of sexual harassment by the photographer. The model’s next post included a screenshot of one woman who said the photographer made an obscene gesture in front of her, and other women stated that he had sent them pictures of himself.
“I didn’t anticipate the sheer scale of this and the number of messages I’d get. I should tell you, I am still trying to process all these messages and conversations” while sharing the next set of screenshots, Saranya said that the photographer had been talking to multiple women.
What Is the Prashanth Bionic Photographer Accused Of?
The model took to Instagram and Reddit to recount incidents from the past three years, alleging Ravi indulged in “harmless flirting” at first, even after she had made it clear that she didn’t feel the same way. “I didn’t name and shame him. Now, I can’t stop thinking about how this has gotten progressively bad and if I had done something about this back then, it might have stopped,” the post read.
The accusations against Ravi began with a model’s Instagram account, which led to several other aspiring models and artists coming forward with their own allegations. One of the women alleged that the photographer had shared nude images of him without her consent.
“This wouldn’t stop here unless we take a stand against people like him. There’s a perception that this industry itself is like this. But, that’s not true. I have met many many good photographers and artists, who are respectful and make you feel very safe and comfortable. A huge shoutout to such people who strive to make this a safe space for many women out there!” she posted.
Meanwhile, Ravi’s apology further read:
“Hailing from a modest background, I had toiled so hard to get where I am today. One can regain lost wealth or care but cannot revive the character of a person. To err is human. I promise that I will strive to be a better person. I promise to be extremely empathetic, respectful, kind, and understanding.”
Singer Chinmayi Sripada took to social media to share the posts and condemned his apology note.
“I am going to assume Prashanth is educated enough, old enough, and aware enough of what transpired when the MeToo movement broke out in 2019. He clearly has an A-list following and has worked with rich/influential people. All of us women constantly spoke about being aware, knowing boundaries, and understanding consent,” her Instagram story read.