YouTube has confirmed that it has “suspended monetisation” on Russell Brand’s channel due to “violating” its “creator responsibility policy”.
Brand was last week accused of rape and sexual assaults alleged to have taken place between 2006 and 2013. Brand has denied those allegations. BBC News writes that the Metropolitan Police has since received a report of an alleged sexual assault in 2003.
“If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action”, a YouTube spokesperson said today (September 19). The online platform added that it was taking action “to protect” its users.
YouTube’s decision to block his revenue streams applies to “all channels that may be owned or operated” by the comedian, it confirmed to the BBC.
In recent years Brand has reinvented himself as a wellness guru and YouTube star discussing conspiracy theories about politics, UFOs, COVID and more to millions of followers. He was previously a household name in comedy, TV and radio.
YouTube acknowledged that such bans are rare but did highlight other examples including the suspension of adverts from the channels of Slovak internet personality David Dobrik and US YouTuber and make-up artist James Charles.
Sara McCorquodale, chief executive of social media analysis agency CORQ, told The Guardian yesterday (September 18) that Brand would “most likely” be “making £2,000 to £4,000 per video” on his YouTube channel. She added that that doesn’t take into account affiliate deals and brand sponsorships that might also be running in the background.
The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches reported in a joint investigation on Saturday (September 16) that one woman has alleged that she was raped by Brand, while three others accused him of sexual assault. One of the women also claimed that he had been physically and emotionally abusive.
Brand has insisted that all of his relationships have been consensual. He shared a video in advance of the publication of the claims to deny the “very serious” but at the time unspecified “allegations” against him.
“I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters or a letter and an email. One from a mainstream media TV company, one from a newspaper listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks, as well as some pretty stupid stuff like my community festival should be stopped, that I shouldn’t be able to attack mainstream media narratives on this channel,” Brand claimed in the video.
The star went on to suggest that the investigations were part of a “coordinated media attack”, “like with Joe Rogan, when he dared to take a medicine that the mainstream media didn’t approve of”.
Brand has amassed a large following on social media in recent years (3.8million accounts on Instagram, 2.2million on TikTok and 6.6million on YouTube).
In related news, previous comments made about Brand by his ex-wife Katy Perry as well as other stars have been circulating amid the sexual assault allegations against the comedian.
Brand was also reportedly dropped from Comedy Central’s Roast Battle after being accused of being a “sexual predator” by comedian Katherine Ryan during recording.