Russell Brand Update: BBC Pulls Content; YouTube Stops Monetization
The BBC has pulled Russell Brand content from iPlayer and BBC Sounds, while YouTube has suspended Brand's ability to monetize his channel.
On Monday, we learned that Channel 4 was beginning an internal investigation, that U.K. book giant Pan Macmillan's imprint Bluebird has paused his publishing deal, and that there were reportedly serious warning signs in play in 2018 when he was a judge on Comedy Central's "Roast Battle." Earlier today, the fallout from a joint investigative report from The Sunday Times of London and Channel 4 – as well as the Channel 4 "Dispatches" doc Russell Brand: In Plain Sight – accusing actor/comedian Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek) of "rape, sexual assaults and emotional abuse" continued – as BBC removed programming featuring Brand and YouTube suspended his ability to monetize his channel. Here's what you need to know…
BBC Removes Russell Brand Content: Noting that it had "assessed that it now falls below public expectations," the BBC removed programming featuring Brand from its iPlayer streaming service as well as BBC Sounds. "The BBC does not ban or remove content when it is a matter of public record unless we have justification for doing so," a representative shared for a BBC news report on the matter. "There is limited content featuring Russell Brand on iPlayer and Sounds. We've reviewed that content and made a considered decision to remove some of it, having assessed that it now falls below public expectations."
YouTube Suspends Monetization on Russell Brand's Channel: Following the accusations, YouTube suspended Brand's ability to monetize his channel (currently at around 6.6M subscribers). Noting that Brand had violated the video-hosting platform's "Creator Responsibility" policy, a spokesperson for YouTube added, "If a creator's off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action." As Brand shifted the focus of his channel to more political and social issues that live more on the fringe/conspiracy side of reality, the actor/comedian had a run-in with YouTube last year when Brand was warned for posting COVID-19 misinformation (with Brand threatening to leave YouTube for another video platform service).