YouTube announced on Tuesday that it has suspended Russell Brand’s channel from monetization due to violating its “creator responsibility policy.” The decision follows recent rape and sexual assault allegations against the comedian-turned-influencer.
In a statement, YouTube emphasized that if a creator’s actions outside the platform threaten users, employees, or the community, they will take necessary measures to ensure community safety. The BBC has also removed some of Brand’s shows from its online streaming service in response to the allegations.
Brand has gained a substantial following on his YouTube channel in recent years, amassing over 6.6 million subscribers. He has crafted a persona as a “wellness” and conspiracy influencer.
Sexual Assault Accusations and Content Removal by BBC
According to the BBC, they have taken down “some programs” featuring the former actor from their streaming services, iPlayer and Sounds, as these programs were found to “fall below public expectations.”
“There is limited content featuring Russell Brand on iPlayer and Sounds,,” the BBC stated in a release. “We’ve reviewed that content and made a considered decision to remove some of it, having assessed that it now falls below public expectations.”
Other platforms hosting Brand’s material, such as Spotify and Luminary, have not responded to requests for comment from NBC News at this time.
The recent developments followed the release of multiple sexual assault accusations against the British star during the weekend. Brand, aged 48, is facing allegations of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse from four women, as revealed in a joint investigation by the Times of London, The Sunday Times, and Channel 4 Dispatches. Another woman accused him of indecent exposure.
Brand firmly denied these allegations, asserting that all his relationships have been consensual. Prior to the publication of the accusations, he shared a video on his social media accounts, expressing distress over “extremely disturbing” communications he had received from a mainstream TV company and a newspaper. These communications detailed a series of aggressive and egregious attacks.
In response, Brand said, “But amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute”
YouTube Reacts to Brand’s Postponed Shows Amidst Sexual Assault Allegations
On Monday, the Metropolitan Police Service in London announced that they were investigating a reported sexual assault dating back to 2003 in light of the recent allegations against Brand.
The police department, in communication with NBC News, confirmed that a report concerning a sexual assault allegation against Brand was filed on Sunday, a day subsequent to the release of the investigative report and the airing of a documentary on this matter that took place on Saturday.
According to the Metropolitan Police, the alleged incident is said to have taken place in 2003 within London’s Soho neighbourhood. The department further conveyed a message encouraging anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offence, irrespective of the elapsed time since the incident, to reach out and contact them.
As for NBC News, they have not engaged with any of the accusers, nor have they independently verified any of the claims made against Brand.
In light of the recent accusations, Brand has made the difficult choice to delay his upcoming comedy performances scheduled in the United Kingdom. His management issued a formal statement on Monday, officially announcing the suspension of the conclusion of his ongoing comedy tour titled “Bipolarisation.” The statement emphasized the decision to postpone the remaining shows, initially planned as fundraising events for addiction charities. While this was not a decision they took lightly, they had faith in the understanding and support of their audience. However, the statement did not provide immediate confirmation regarding the rescheduling of these postponed dates.