On Tuesday, video streaming platform YouTube demonetized comedian and podcaster Russell Brand’s account after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced over the weekend.
Brand will not be allowed to monetize his main account, which boasts over 6.6 million subscribers, along with any other channels connected to the comedian including Awakening With Russell Brand, Football Is Nice, and Stay Free With Russell Brand.
In a statement, YouTube said Brand reportedly violated the platform’s Creator Responsibility policy which sets standards for users’ behavior on and off YouTube.
“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,” the statement said, per CNN.
Guilty until proven innocent! Instead of innocent until proven guilty! pic.twitter.com/7vOJAJVT94
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) September 19, 2023
Along with Brand’s 6.6 million subscribers, the comedian hosts over 466,000 subscribers across his other YouTube channels.
On Friday, the comedian preemptively revealed allegations against him would surface in a video shared to his YouTube and other social media accounts titled, “This is happening.”
The comedian said he received a letter and an email from a “mainstream media TV company” and newspaper slamming Brand’s career transition towards criticizing mainstream news. The email and letter also reportedly listed allegations of sexual misconduct against Brand which the comedian refuted.
“These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream,” he said, adding he was “very promiscuous” at that time in his life. “The relationships I had were absolutely always consensual.”
The comedian said he had been “almost too transparent” about his past.
“To see that transparency metastasized into something criminal that I absolutely deny, makes me question is there another agenda at play,” he said.
Brand referenced other “coordinated media attacks” against prominent figures including fellow comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan.
This is happening pic.twitter.com/N8zIKLbJN2
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) September 15, 2023
Brand noted viewers had warned the comedian was “getting too close to the truth” in his reporting.
“It feels to me that there’s a serious and concerted agenda to control these kinds of spaces and these kind of voices,” Brand said, adding “my voice along with your voice.”
The comedian said he didn’t care about his promiscuous and consensual past conduct being criticized, though refuted the “serious criminal allegations.”
Brand also noted two witness accounts which directly contradict allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I feel like I’m being attacked and plainly they are working very closely together,” Brand concluded.
The comedian has not posted to YouTube or other social media accounts since Friday.
The four allegations against Brand spanning between 2006 and 2013 include one accuser, who has not been named, claiming the comedian sexually assaulted her when she was 16. Another woman alleged Brand sexually assaulted her in Los Angeles.
“We are here to question everything, we are here to have a laugh, to Build Back Better and Make News Great Again. Stay Free,” Brand said of the partnership.