“The Voice of Holland” is one of the most popular entertainment shows in the country and definitely one of John de Mol‘s most prominent exploits. The show has aired on televisions across the Netherlands for over a decade. Though not as famous as it was in its prime, it still attracts millions of views each episode.
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However, the show recently started receiving attention again but for different reasons. “The Voice of Holland” and its creators made headlines for a sexual misconduct scandal. The show was pulled off-air due to the allegations against the show’s production staff members.
The scandal involved staff abusing their positions and coercing sexual favors from young female contestants and colleagues. De Mol recently addressed the multiple allegations leveled at the staff members, and here’s what he had to say.
Sexual Misconduct Accusations
In 2020, the presenter of “BOOS,” Tim Hofman, sent out an appeal for members of the public who had ties with “The Voice” and had experienced any (sexual) misconduct from members of the staff.
The local investigative news program brought numerous reports of sexual misconduct conducted by officials over the past few weeks. These reports led to RTL pulling the show off the air. The allegations mainly involved Marco Borsato and Ali B, two celebrity judges from the show, and bandleader Jeroen Rietbergen.
The accusations and media pressure led to the bandleader announcing his resignation on January 15. In a statement, he revealed that he previously had “contact of a sexual nature” with women involved in the show. He also said he “exchanged sexually explicit messages” with the women.
Reitbergen included an apology “to the women involved for the things I never should have done.” The bandleader is also married to Linda de Mol, making him the show creator’s brother-in-law.
De Mol’s Comment On The Allegations
At first, De Mol declined to comment on the entire situation but later spoke to “BOOS” after the investigative TV news magazine showed him its report. The whole interview was broadcast uncut, and the magazine posted it on their YouTube channel on Thursday. The interview has already received over seven million views.
The Emmy-winning producer stated that he had no prior idea of the alleged abuse in the interview. He also mentioned that during his time as executive producer, he was only made aware of one complaint in 2019, which involved Rietbergen.
Upon hearing the first allegation, De Mol recalled, “First, I was speechless, then I became livid. I called him and said, ‘Come here now’…. I yelled at him for 30 minutes; I had to restrain myself not to punch him in the face.”
He revealed that the production team apologized to the victim and put the bandleader on notice that he would be dismissed if any other incident of that nature was revealed. However, De Mol announced that he wasn’t aware of the abuse allegations against Borsato and Ali B.
Ali B. was accused of fondling underage contestants on the spinoff show “The Voice Kids.” Many previous contestants also accused him of sexual misconduct, including claiming that the celebrity coach rapped a contestant in his recording studio.
De Mol Said He Feels Responsible
Still, in the interview, the show’s creator said that there were no filed complaints against the two judges, so he wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing. De Mol also revealed that he felt guilty for the entire situation.
“I absolutely feel responsible. That doesn’t mean that I saw things and tried to cover them up or condoned things that should not have been confined. Thus discussion is about one thing: People have been hurt. There are victims, and their interests should come first,” he said.
Although De Mol isn’t directly involved in “The Voice,” he agreed with the RTL’s move in taking the show off the air while ITV Studios conducted their investigation. “I think you can only start discussing the future of ‘The Voice’ after everything comes out,” he revealed. “I can’t tell you if ‘The Voice’ will be back next year or if it will never come back.”
ITV Studios Is Currently Investigating ‘The Voice’
After the “BOOS” broadcast on the allegations, ITV Studios posted a statement which relayed their shock and dismay when they found out about the accusations by “The Voice of Holland” contestants. The statement read, “Our utmost priority is to provide a safe and supportive environment for everyone who takes part in or works on our shows, and there is zero tolerance at ITV Studios for the type of behavior highlighted in the show.”
They mentioned that they immediately sprung to action when they received the notice from “BOOS” to understand what happened correctly. The studio also detailed the interviews conducted within the week.
ITV called out former participants and workers on the show who had experienced or witnessed any inappropriate behavior in “The Voice of Holland.” They implored them to “contact our investigators who are ready and waiting to speak with them on a confidential basis.”