YouTube has decided to halt advertisements on Russell Brand’s videos following accusations of rape and sexual assault against the comedian. The Google-owned platform cited a violation of their Creator Responsibility policy for this action.
The allegations stem from four women who came forward between 2006 and 2013 as part of an investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times, and Channel 4’s Dispatches. Brand, 48, vehemently denies all accusations, stating in an online video that all his relationships have been consensual.
Despite the suspension of monetization, Brand’s YouTube channels, the largest of which boasts over six million subscribers, remain on the platform. However, advertisements no longer feature on his videos.
Brand rose to fame in the early 2000s through stand-up and hosting shows like Big Brother’s Big Mouth, later transitioning to Hollywood films and BBC Radio 2 hosting. In recent years, he’s shifted focus to wellness coaching and producing regular YouTube content, believed to be a significant source of income.
According to technology journalist Chris Stokel-Walker, Brand could earn anywhere from $70,000 (£57,000) to $1 million (£810,000) annually from advertising revenue on his YouTube videos. This wide range is due to the revenue-sharing model between creators and the platform.
Brand also maintains a presence on Rumble, a video site popular among certain conservative and far-right groups, where his channel has 1.4 million followers. However, he hasn’t posted since releasing his denial video.
Additionally, Brand has active social media pages, including X (formerly Twitter), where he has amassed over 11 million followers.
In light of the allegations, some of Brand’s scheduled tour dates have been postponed. The Metropolitan Police have received an allegation of sexual assault against Brand dating back to 2003.
While several women have come forward with additional claims, The Times stated that these allegations have not yet been investigated but will be thoroughly examined. Major organizations like Channel 4, Banijay UK, and the BBC have launched investigations into the matter.
Trevi Women, a charity supporting mothers recovering from drug addiction, has also severed ties with Brand. Despite the accusations, Brand has received support from notable figures, including tech mogul Elon Musk.
Andrew Sachs’ granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, who had a relationship with Brand in the 2000s, stated that she doesn’t view him as a rapist from her own experience. She emphasized the importance of believing and taking seriously women’s stories of sexual abuse. Baillie was at the center of the “Sachsgate” scandal in 2008, involving Brand and TV presenter Jonathan Ross.