Russell Brand: YouTube suspends adverts on comedian’s videos as BBC removes content from iPlayer

Russell Brand: YouTube suspends adverts on comedian's videos as BBC removes content from iPlayer

YouTube has suspended adverts on videos by Russell Brand after the comedian was accused of rape and sexual assault.

The Google-owned company said it had suspended the monetisation of Brand’s channel for “violating our Creator Responsibility policy”.

Meanwhile, the BBC says it has removed some of its content featuring Brand from iPlayer and BBC 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,” a spokesperson for the BBC said.

A 2018 episode of QI and a 2021 Joe Wicks podcast, both of which featured Russell Brand as a guest, are currently listed as “not currently available” on the BBC’s website.

It comes after four women made sexual abuse allegations against the star between 2006 and 2013 as part of an investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

Brand, 48, denies any allegations against him. He claimed in a video posted online on Friday night that all his relationships have been “consensual”.

A YouTube spokesperson said: “If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.

“This decision applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand.”

Brand’s YouTube channels – the largest of which has more than six million subscribers – remain on the platform, but his videos no longer feature adverts.

The comedian found fame in the early 2000s on the stand-up circuit and as a host of shows including Big Brother’s Big Mouth, before starring in Hollywood films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and presenting a show on BBC Radio 2.

However, in recent years, he has switched to wellness coaching and producing regular YouTube videos – from which he is thought to derive much of his income.

Technology journalist Chris Stokel-Walker told Sky News that Brand could earn anything between $70,000 (£57,000) and $1m (£810,000) in advertising revenue each year from his YouTube videos.

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Police receive Brand assault claim

“That is a huge differential between the lower band and the upper band and that is because, often these things are quite transparent, but fundamentally whenever you watch a YouTube video, and you see a little advert before or during the video, the creator shares in around half of the income that comes from that,” he said.

Brand maintains a presence on Rumble – a video site popular with some conservatives and far-right groups – where his channel has 1.4m followers.

However, he has not posted since his denial video on Friday.

Brand also has social media pages, including X, formerly known as Twitter, where he has more than 11m followers.

Cancelled shows

The comedian performed in London as part of his Bipolarisation tour on Saturday night – as the allegations were broadcast on Dispatches.

He had been due to perform at the Theatre Royal in Windsor on Tuesday – with more dates scheduled in Wolverhampton and Plymouth later this month.

However, the tour promoters said in a statement on Monday: “We are postponing these few remaining addiction charity fundraiser shows, we don’t like doing it – but we know you’ll understand.”

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Since publication, The Times said it had been contacted by “several women” with further claims about Brand, but said their allegations have not yet been investigated and “will now be rigorously checked”.

The Metropolitan Police said on Monday it had received an allegation of sexual assault against Brand dating back to 2003, following the publication of the claims against the comedian.

On Monday one of his accusers claimed a BBC car took her from school to the star’s house when she was 16 years old.

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‘BBC car took me to Russell Brand’s house’

“Alice” told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour the alleged abusive relationship left her feeling “cheap and dirtied”.

She went on to say Brand’s denial of the accusations was “insulting”, adding: “It’s laughable that he would even imply that this is some kind of mainstream media conspiracy. He’s not outside the mainstream.”

Charity cuts ties with Brand

Downing Street also described the allegations against Brand as “very serious and concerning”

Channel 4 and TV production firm Banijay UK confirmed over the weekend they had launched investigations, while the BBC said it was “urgently looking into the issues raised”.

The charity Trevi Women, which supports mothers recovering from drug addiction, also announced on Saturday it was cutting ties with Brand.

But the comedian has received backing from several high-profile figures, including tech billionaire Elon Musk.

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Russell Brand denies ‘serious allegations’

He wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday: “I support Russell Brand. That man is not evil.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Sachs’ granddaughter said she “doesn’t see Russell Brand as a rapist” from her “own experience”.

Georgina Baillie, who had a relationship with Brand in the 2000s, added that women’s stories of sexual abuse should always be believed and taken seriously.

Baillie, 38, was at the centre of the so-called “Sachsgate” scandal in 2008, which saw Brand and TV presenter Jonathan Ross leave lewd messages about her on her Fawlty Towers star grandfather’s answering machine.

Discussing her relationship with Brand on TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored, she said: “He was always very nice to me. It was always clear what the parameters were and that was mutually agreed upon and never did anything untoward happen – apart from that [the Sachsgate tapes].

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“I was struggling with addiction for about 10-15 years and I was finding it very hard to get clean and sober. So one of my mutual friends between me and Russell called him up and said, ‘Georgie needs some help’, and so he sent me to rehab.

“And so I was physically separated from my drug of choice and I got some therapy and I think that had a big part to play in my recovery journey.”

Going on to discuss the allegations, she said: “I’m not saying they are lies because you know, it was a long time ago. We all… I think they should be believed and get some help.”

Asked if she was presuming Brand was guilty, she added: “I, from my own personal experience, do not see Russell as a rapist. However, a lot of the evidence is very compelling, so one has to keep an open mind.”