Russell Brand really is getting properly canceled over this scandal. Though considering the severity of the scandal it feels pretty reasonable. (For more details on the rape and sexual assault allegations from last weekend’s exposé HERE.)
Thus far some of his comedy shows have been canceled (supposedly at his own behest), but also the British government has taken quick action. They’ve already yanked some BBC episodes he guest-starred AND they’re asking Rumble to follow YouTube‘s lead and suspend him from monetization.
The much smaller video streaming platform — where Brand posted his preemptive denial btw — is based in Canada, so we guess the Brits thought they had some sway. A member of Parliament allegedly sent Rumble a letter asking them “to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.” Founder Chris Pavlovski wrote on X (Twitter) that he was refusing:
“We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so. We emphatically reject the UK Parliament’s demands.”
Rumble is really popular with right-wing content creators — it’s like the Truth Social of YouTube. Heck, their servers even house Donald Trump‘s pet social media platform. So yeah, it’s not a big shocker they’re going to shelter Brand under the umbrella of free speech. There’s a whole can of worms in that regard we’d rather not open to be frank. Suffice to say it’s a complicated issue.
But if folks are going to argue it should be up to the free market and not the government to decide, they may have already been proven right! It seems the bulk of the canceling has already happened rather organically over the past few years. We noted earlier this week how Brand’s profile on UK TV programs dropped precipitously after his Roast Battle co-host Katherine Ryan blasted him as a “predator” in front of a packed audience.
(In fact, it was only really after that he started going more fringe right-wing, conspiracy theorist. Funny how that seems to work, huh? Almost like he could see which way the wind was blowing and suss out which audience would stay with him once all the sexual misconduct allegations went public. Not the mean old liberals. But right-wingers, well, they already proved they love an accused rapist, didn’t they?)
Anyway, comedian Nish Kumar brought up that aspect of the scandal on the latest episode of his podcast Pod Save The UK, and he says it wasn’t government censorship or Parliamentary letter-writing that crashed Brand’s career. It was the fact word had gotten around about all these numerous sexual assault allegations, and everyone was too horrified to continue putting him on their shows! He noted:
“I think if you look at Russell Brand’s IMDB page, you see that his television work in Britain starts to dry up around 2018, 2019. And that’s simply because increasingly people were just not willing to work with him.”
Nish, who is friends with Katherine and many others in the UK comedy scene, says it really was her public outing of those whispers that broke the dam. After that the stories that had been shared by just a few women keeping their guard up spread like wildfire:
“It was discussed by multiple comedians in Edinburgh Fringe shows the following year in 2018. It was that well known.”
But here’s the shocking part. Nish says the stories which came out don’t even include the sexual assault allegation he heard about from friends! He revealed:
“To be completely honest with you, the story that I had heard was relating to a sexual assault, it was not covered in the documentary. Those weren’t stories that I’d actually heard about. So it is possible that there’s more allegations to come.”
Wow. See Nish’s full take on the Russell Brand scandal (below)!
What do YOU think, Perezcious readers? Is it enough for everyone in the comedy community — including producers of TV shows — to want to keep their distance? Or should companies remove monetization on, say, videos denying or apologizing for sex crimes?
[Image via Channel 4/YouTube.]