Contestant from "The Voice" Alleges Alabama Winner Asher HaVon Sucked Peter for the Prize

Christian guitarist Bryan Olesen calls show rigged and showrunners demoníc

Contestant from "The Voice" Alleges Alabama Winner Asher HaVon Sucked Peter for the Prize

{} –"That's why I'm going to stick to indie music and steaming for a little bit," said Bryan Olesen, former guitarist of the Christian rock band Newsboys, in a recent interview on a European podcast, recounting an on-set experience on NBC's The Voice with an unnamed producer who pressured him and other contestants for sex.

The twenty-fifth season of the American reality television series The Voice premiered on February 26, 2024, on NBC. The season was presented by Carson Daly, who returned as the host for his twenty-fifth season. The coaching panel consisted of John Legend and Reba McEntire, who returned for their ninth and second seasons, respectively; returning coach Chance the Rapper, who returned for his second season following a one-season hiatus; and debuting coaches Dan + Shay, who joined the panel as the show's first coaching duo.

Bryan Olesen, a former guitarist of the Christian rock band Newsboys, captivated audiences and judges alike during his audition for the hit television show. Olesen turned three of the four judge chairs with his rendition of One Republic‘s “Love Runs Out” during the blind auditions.

Asher HaVon was named the winner of the season, marking Reba McEntire's first win as a coach. With HaVon's win, he became the fifth African-American male to win the show. He was also the first openly LGBTQ person to win.

After failing to win the televised competition, however, Bryan Olesen is taking a break from mainstream music after disclosing he dealt with on-set sexuàl misconduct involving an unnamed producer on the show.

In an interview on Germany's der Klang, the musician recounted an incident that took place during a rehearsal, noting that he's "turned down several collaborations" in recent weeks and prefers focusing on his solo projects.

"The coaches don't actually select the contestants, despite popular belief and what's being portrayed on screen," Olesen explained. "That's actually done by producers as judges that the viewers don't see. And this one main producer selected contestants that he was allegedly involved with.

"I heard him ask HaVon to do sexuál favors for him," he said. "So, that's the guy judging whether or not I make it through. And what's crazy is I didn't hear HaVon say 'no.' I kinda cried I was so upset.

"But when people ask, 'How is focusing on streaming solo projects better for your mental health and spirit?' That's how. I get to stay inside my studio and make music, and I don't have my producer promoting homöséxüalíty and asking my colleague to sleep with him. That's how this is better for my mental health and spirit," added Olesen.

He explained that HaVon "played it off when it was clear someone might be listening," never telling show management about the incident. 

"One of the other contestants was there and was like, 'Did I just hear that correctly?' And HaVon was like, 'What did you hear?' And they were like, 'You want to go talk?' HaVon was like, 'I wanna sing.' And no one ever mentioned it again," Olesen said.

"That's why I'm going to stick to just streaming solo projects for a little bit, and I hope that's not a huge wrench in your plans for me, but I'm happy here," he continued. "And I'm developing my own music, and I'm hoping that someone decides to fund my tours. Because then I can be in control of my own performances, and I'm not going to ask my bandmates to sleep with me, so... that's cool, right?"

The producer dangled success. Men say they paid a price

Several men say the producer (who legal counsel advised the site not to name) offered to jumpstart their music careers, then pursued them sexuàlly and in some cases retaliated when they spurned him. After reached out directly, the unnamed producer denied the claims.

From our own research we learned that, for nearly two decades, the producer has not simply worked on one of the most popular televised singing shows in modern times, but has a resumé that includes overseeing music by Willie Nelson, cowriting a Tim McGraw hit and recording with John Mayer.

Historically he seems to have always taken a special interest in the trajectory of male artists, especially younger ones, championing them onstage, across social media and in the studio, where his stamp of approval can jump-start careers.

Many say that such behavior is not new in the entertainment industry and masks a darker reality. In private interviews, multiple men and other associates described a pattern of manipulative behavior in which the unnamed producer dangled show advancement and career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing male artists for favors. In some cases, they said, he would turn domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subjecting contestants to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media. Some accounts have been corroborated by family members or friends who were present at the time, as well as by one digital correspondence from the unnamed producer reviewed by

From a teenager living in a small town to a former costume designer, these artists said the producer exploited and then stifled their ambitions. “Music was a point of control for him,” one said.

When the producer began corresponding online with a fan of the show, Tyler, in 2022, he was a 24-year-old lounge singer already forging a career.

But their correspondence about music turned into graphic texting. Eventually, Tyler said, they conducted video calls on Messenger, where the producer exposed himself "accidentally on purpose." has reviewed some communication between the two, including 17 text messages they exchanged over a two-month period when Tyler was 25. ( is identifying Tyler, now 26, by his middle name because he wants to expose the perils of the entertainment industry without outting himself.)

In the texts, the producer questioned Tyler repeatedly about his sexualíty. Though he did not seem coercive, their sexuál conversations continued. “i would get in trouble if someone knew we talked like this,” the producer wrote to him in November 2023.

Patrick Brettler, an entertainment lawyer for the show, said that the producer did not recall the exchanges. “Our client unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexuál communications with anyone who's appeared on the show,” Brettler said.

Through Brettler, the producer said that he did not have the power to make or break careers and categorically denied the “extremely serious and outlandish accusations” in TheChronicle’s reporting. The producer vaguely recalled the interactions, if any, with the men differently, his lawyer said, referring to some of the allegations as “grousing by disgruntled individuals” who blamed the show and its producers for personal or professional disappointments and were now out to harm all.

"Don't believe anything you hear," the lawyer went on, before threatening to sue for liable if we posted without material proof (clearly disregarding the texts and unpublished firsthand accounts), before twice accusing of being both anti-gáy and anti-bláck. "Nevermind what Asher HaVon has or hasn't done on his personal time, it's his talent that we should be talking about, not this Weinstein, questioning sexuál orientation or racíal angle."

A glimpse at the history of the casting couch in the entertainment industry, long before Weinstein and the MeToo era

With Harvey Weinstein having been a thing, I thought this was quite interesting that we were being called gayíst and racíst. I didn't know professional abusé and harassmént díscrímínated. The currently-posted Wikipedia entry on CASTING COUCH has these under the heading ALLEGATIONS. I have edited out the more generalized bits.

I can, of course, not confirm the truth of any.


-1930s Nazi Germany: Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, allegedly operated a casting-couch scheme, advancing the careers of actresses like Jenny Jugo and Irene von Meyendorff. Swedish actress Zarah Leander recounted a "sleazy seduction scene" arranged by Goebbels at his villa in her memoirs.

-1956: British fan magazine Picturegoer published a four-part exposé titled “The Perils of Show Business,” featuring interviews with actresses like Joy Webster, Dorinda Stevens, Anne Heywood, and Marigold Russell, highlighting the prevalence of the casting couch in the industry.

-1994: On "The Word", English actress Kate O’Mara claimed American producer Judd Bernard pulled down her panties during a hotel-room audition for the Elvis Presley film "Double Trouble" (1967). Her autobiography "Vamp Until Ready: A Life Laid Bare" (2003) details this and other humiliating encounters, including incidents with a well-known TV casting director, the boss of Associated Television at Elstree Studios, and the director of "Great Catherine."

-1998: Writer-director Bruce Robinson claimed that at 20, he was given a role in "Romeo and Juliet" (1968) after Franco Zeffirelli performed oral sex on him in Rome.

-2002: Lesley-Anne Down spoke of the intense pressure and sexuál harassmént she faced in the late 1960s, describing it as a time when the casting couch was rampant and recalling encounters with producers promising film parts in exchange for séx. In 2015, she revealed harassmént by an unnamed legendary Hollywood actor and producer Sam Spiegel.

-2005: French director Jean-Claude Brisseau was found guilty of sexuàlly harassíng two actresses during auditions for "Choses Secrètes" (2002).

-2008: Actress Ingrid Pitt recounted unwanted advances from two producers in hotels.

-2012: Actress Julie Delpy spoke about casting-couch pedophílés in France during the 1980s. Filmmaker Ben Fellows also published claims about systemic casting-couch practices in British television, theatre, music and advertising in the 1980s.

-2013: Myleene Klass stated that nearly everyone in the entertainment industry had encountered the casting couch, revealing that Harvey Weinstein had asked her to sign a séx contract. Thandie Newton recounted a disturbing audition experience with a director who filmed her inappropriately.

-2014: It was revealed that former public relations guru Max Clifford used his daughter's disabled toilet cubicle as a "casting couch."

-2017: Actress Barbara Windsor claimed that in the 1950s, an influential actor groped her after promising her a film role.

United States

-1940: In her memoir "Child Star" (1988), Shirley Temple recounted a producer exposing himself to her when she was 12.

-1950s: Joan Collins described casting-couch behavior by two 20th Century Fox executives in her memoir "Past Imperfect" (1978).

-1960s: Senta Berger claimed in her autobiography that a producer exposed himself to her in a New York hotel suite in 1965, offering to forgive Nazí atrocities if she slept with him.

-1988: Theresa Russell alleged multiple times that producer Sam Spiegel propositioned her during her first casting session for "The Last Tycoon".

-2003: Italian actress Asia Argento stated that Hollywood producers expected oral séx from young starlets for roles, portraying this in her film "Scarlet Diva" (2000), based on her alleged experience with Harvey Weinstein.

-2005: Robert Hofler's book "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson" alleged that Hollywood agent Henry Willson was a gáy casting-couch predator.

-2005: Goldie Hawn recounted in her autobiography that cartoonist Al Capp sexuàlly propositioned her on a casting couch when she was nineteen, becoming angry when she refused.

-2006: A New York City producer was accused of sexuàlly harassing several cast members of the off-Broadway play "Dog Sees God." 

-2007: "Vanity Fair" denounced Lou Pearlman for improper casting couch behavior with boy bands.

-2009: Hollywood composer Joseph Brooks was arrested for rapíng or sexuàlly assaultíng eleven women between 2005 and 2008, luring them to his apartment under the guise of auditions. He committed suícíde in 2011 before trial.

-2009: Charlize Theron revealed in an interview with OK! Magazine that she was propositioned by a Hollywood director at an unusual Saturday night audition.

-2010: Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that early in her career, a film executive suggested finishing a business meeting in the bedroom.

-2011: Corey Feldman alleged that children were also victims of the casting couch, with Paul Petersen and Alison Arngrim supporting these claims, describing druggíng and abusé in the 1980s.

-2012: Susan Sarandon spoke of a "disgusting" casting-couch experience in the late 1960s or early 1970s in Elle magazine.

-2013: Rapper Gucci Mane took to Twitter to call out rapper Nicki Minaj and former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland and others for trading séx for beats and features and deals.

-2014: Amy Berg's documentary "An Open Secret" highlighted multiple child actors’ abusé by convicted séx offenders in Hollywood.

-2016: Roger Ailes was accused of sexuál harassmént by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, followed by over twenty women, including Megyn Kelly and Andrea Tantaros, alleging similar behavior over 50 years. Cher and Rose McGowan also shared their casting couch experiences, with McGowan later naming Harvey Weinstein as her rapíst.

-2017: Bill Cosby’s defense acknowledged the "casting couch" as a common practice while defending him against over 60 sexuál assaúlt accusations. Jane Fonda claimed she was fired for not sleeping with her boss. Alison Brie and Emmy Rossum shared their own casting couch experiences, and Zoe Kazan described an inappropriate remark from a producer.

-2017: Harvey Weinstein was accused of three decades of sexuál harassmént, leading to numerous actresses, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, speaking out. Actor Terry Crews, Rob Schneider, and James Van Der Beek also revealed their experiences with sexuál harassmént in Hollywood.

New entry, 2024: Bryan Olesen, former guitarist of the Christian rock band Newsboys, in a recent interview on a European podcast, alleged that The Voice Season 25 winner Asher HaVon traded sexuál favors with a top show producer to be placed in the finales for the ultimate win. has not named the producer nor claimed HaVon's actions one way or another with any certainty in order to protect against any frivolous lawsuit that could interrupt our operations. Yet if history is any guide, then the claims are likely true, and the participants may not speak out, if ever, until after their careers are fully and finally over or failed.

Olesen, known for his time with the Newsboys, has most recently been working on his solo music projects and collaborating with various artists in the Christian music scene.