Wednesday 25 May 2022

The Voice scandal deepens, ahead of YouTube documentary broadcast


The YouTube documentary which has sparked a #metoo scandal around television show The Voice of Holland will finally be broadcast on Thursday afternoon, days after commercial broadcaster RTL said it was suspending the talent hunt.

Since the show’s band leader Jeroen Rietbergen admitted he had ‘sexual contact’ with women who were involved in the show in the past, several women have come forward to talk about the sexual harassment they experienced as contestants over the years.

The documentary, made by BNNVARA youth YouTube channel Boos, has remained under wraps until now, and several of the big names involved in The Voice, including programme devisor and Talpa boss John de Mol, have declined to comment until it has been broadcast.

As well as Rietbergen, the partner of De Mol’s television presenter sister Linda, rapper and The Voice coach Ali B has also been accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour.  On Wednesday it emerged that a second formal complaint had been made against him. B’s lawyer Bart Swier said B disputes all aspects of the complaints.

Nevertheless, commercial broadcaster RTL said it would stop working with B until the investigation is complete.  ‘Once the facts are on the table, we can take further decisions on the basis of that information,’ the statement said.

The Volkskrant on Thursday said participants in the programme had to sign a contract pledging not to speak to third parties about the show, or face a fine of up to €10,000.

Contestants were sworn to secrecy not just about how the hunt for talent progressed, but about ‘everything that went on behind the scenes’, the paper said.

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