The Voice loses sponsorship, jury member after sexual misconduct accusations
Singer Anouk announced that she would no longer be a coach at The Voice of Holland after sexual misconduct and abuse of power allegations against fellow coach Ali B and band leader Jeroen Rietbergen. Telecom company T-Mobile announced it stopped sponsoring the TV program. And Linda de Mol broke up with Reitbergen and halted her work for the time being.
On Saturday, RTL announced that The Voice of Holland wouldn't be broadcast for the time being due to reports of sexually transgressive behavior and abuse of power. Rietbergen acknowledged that he had relationships of a "sexual nature" with women involved in The Voice of Holland.
Linda de Mol has broken off her relationship with Rietbergen and is taking a break from her work. "I've been in a terrible nightmare for a few days now," she wrote on the website of her magazine LINDA. "So many things have come up that I did not know about and of which, because they are anonymous, I don't know what is true and what is not." She wrote that Ritebegen no longer lives with her and asked everyone to leave her family alone.
De Mol thanked everyone for the "understanding messages and texts" she received. "That's the only thing that offers a little comfort when your heart is broken." De Mol and Rietbergen started their relationship in 2007.
"It's just a corrupt gang," Anouk said in a video on Instagram. "I don't want to work where several men abused their position for years and where they deliberately chose to keep it quiet and look the other way. That is really unacceptable."
Anouk has been a coach on The Voice of Holland and The Voice Kids for several years. Together with Ali B, Glenis Grace, and Waylon, she formed the team of coaches this season. "That's not where I am. I don't want to be part of that," Anouk concluded her video. "I would like to let you know that I will not come back to The Voice of Holland again. That was it."
RTL and producer ITV launched an independent investigation into the allegations. The subject will be extensively discussed in the program BOOS by Tim Hofman on Thursday. Coach Ali B will also be discussed. A complaint was filed against him last Tuesday, allegedly by a former candidate. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) must assess the complaint against Ali B and decide whether it needs to be investigated. A spokesperson for the OM could not predict how long this would take. No further reports were filed against the 40-year-old rapper. He denies all allegations.
Telecom company T-Mobile stopped sponsoring The Voice of Holland, the company confirmed. "We disapprove of any form of transgressive behavior, and as a company, we expressly distance ourselves from this," the company said in a statement. T-Mobile also expressed condolences to all those involved.
Supermarket chain Lidl, which advertises in the program, temporarily suspends sponsorship. A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said that the sponsorship automatically ended when the program was suspended.
The CDA called for better protection for talent show participants against abuse of power. Parliamentarian Lucille Werner asked State Secretary Gunay Uslu what the current agreements are with participants of The Voice of Holland and how they can be improved. "Every participant in a TV show should feel safe," Werner wrote on Twitter. "Abuse of power and sexually transgressive behavior are unacceptable, and signs of this need to be thoroughly investigated."
She wants to know from Uslu to what extent the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science has been informed of the allegations at The Voice. Werner also wants clarification on whether there is enough room for candidates to report transgressive behavior and how unequal working relationships are monitored.
Reporting by ANP.