Casting show The Voice of Holland in MeToo scandal

Journalists have revealed numerous cases of sexual abuse of contestants on the Dutch TV casting show The Voice of Holland over a period of several years. Nineteen women came forward after the journalists launched an appeal last year. Media entrepreneur and long-time producer John de Mol expressed shock but has now come under fire himself.

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NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

The powerful blaming the powerless

The long-time producer de Mol is trying to shift the responsibility to the women, criticises journalist Arjen Fortuin in NRC Handelsblad:

“Clearly this man in a position of power has not understood the fact that one has to look at the question of power relations from the perspective of the powerless. According to him it was the victims who should have taken action: they had to speak out. After all, there were dedicated staff they could turn to in his company for this. 'If no one says anything, we can't do anything.' He found the reference to a culture of fear 'too simple'. Women 'obviously feel a kind of shame', he said, concluding his analysis of the problem. This was probably not ill will. John de Mol simply hasn't got a clue.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

A hunting ground for horny men

De Volkskrant columnist Bert Wagendorp praises the web series Boos, which exposed the sexual abuse scandal:

“The show's presenter Tim Hofman collected so many testimonies and they were so convincing that in the end only one conclusion remained: for years, The Voice of Holland was a hunting ground for horny men who abused their position to get young talented women into bed instead of doing their best to let them sing. I couldn't help thinking that this is all just the tip of the iceberg and that more revelations will follow in the near future - and not only about The Voice.”