The comedian emphatically denies allegations of rape and assault and criticizes what he calls a coordinated attack. YouTube has suspended Russell Brand’s channel from monetization following reports of rape and sexual assault allegations against him. The Metropolitan Police have received a report of sexual assault that allegedly occurred in London in 2003. The BBC and Channel 4 have removed some content featuring Mr. Brand and have launched internal investigations into his conduct while presenting shows for the broadcasters.
Russell Brand is a comedian, actor, TV presenter, and YouTuber with over 6.6 million subscribers. He has transformed from a flamboyant Hollywood star who openly spoke of his alcohol and drug abuse to a popular wellness influencer, political commentator, and vocal critic of corporate media.
Just before the materials were published, Mr. Brand released a video on his YouTube channel denying any criminal allegations and accusing media outlets of launching a coordinated attack. YouTube has suspended monetization on Mr. Brand’s channels in response to serious allegations against him, citing violation of their Creator Responsibility policy. This suspension applies to all channels owned or operated by Mr. Brand and is consistent with the application of the policy to other channels accused of sexual misconduct. The impact of the demonetization on his income has not been disclosed.
Sara McCorquodale, CEO of social media analysis agency CORQ, estimates that Mr. Brand earns £2,000 to £4,000 per video, potentially amounting to £1 million ($1.24 million) annually, based on the assumption that he posts five videos per week.
The allegations against Mr. Brand include claims of controlling or abusive behavior and assaults or rape following initially consensual relationships. One woman accused him of raping her in his Los Angeles home in 2012. Another woman claimed he almost raped her at his home in West Hollywood but let her go after she fought back. A woman from the UK said that Mr. Brand, then 30, engaged in a sexual relationship with her when she was 16, and she now believes she was groomed.
Mr. Brand denies these allegations and asserts that all his sexual relationships were consensual. He likens the accusations to coordinated media attacks he claims have occurred in the past. Channel 4 and the BBC have initiated investigations into Mr. Brand’s conduct during his time with their respective organizations, while the Metropolitan Police have received a report of sexual assault allegedly committed by him in 2003.
Parliament’s Culture, Media, and Sport Committee has decided to write to media outlets, including the BBC and Channel 4, to understand the actions being taken in response to these allegations. The Metropolitan Police are providing support to the woman who reported the alleged sexual assault in 2003.