LONDON (Reuters) -YouTube said on Tuesday it had blocked Russell Brand from making money from his online channel after the British actor and comedian was accused of a string of sexual assaults. Brand, once one of Britain’s most high-profile comedians and broadcasters, said on Saturday he had never had non-consensual sex. That came as the […]
YouTube cuts off Russell Brand’s ad revenues after sexual assault allegations
LONDON (Reuters) -YouTube said on Tuesday it had blocked Russell Brand from making money from his online channel after the British actor and comedian was accused of a string of sexual assaults.
Brand, once one of Britain’s most high-profile comedians and broadcasters, said on Saturday he had never had non-consensual sex.
That came as the Sunday Times newspaper and Channel 4 TV’s documentary show “Dispatches” reported that four women had accused the 48-year-old of sexual assaults, including a rape, between 2006 and 2013.
The allegations about Brand have sent shockwaves through the British media and dominated coverage since they emerged on Saturday.
The BBC said on Tuesday it had removed some shows featuring Brand from its iPlayer and Sounds platforms after deciding that some past television and radio content “now falls below public expectations”.
Caroline Dinenage, chair of parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said she had written to the BBC plus broadcasters Channel 4 and GBNews, as well as tech firm TikTok regarding the allegations.
London police said on Monday they had received an allegation of sexual assault dating from 2003.
Brand, the former husband of U.S. singer Katy Perry, has repositioned himself in recent years to build a more than 6 million-strong following to his YouTube channel.
Recent videos included an interview with the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and discussions on everything from COVID to UFOs, censorship and wellbeing.
YouTube, owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc, said it had suspended monetisation on Brand’s channel after he violated its creator responsibility policy.
“If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
TikTok was asked by parliamentary committee chair Dinenage whether Brand was still able to monetise his Tiktok posts. She also asked for time-scale and progress reports from the BBC and Channel 4 about their investigations into Brand.
Brand issued a video message on social media on Saturday to deny the “very serious criminal allegations” hours before they were published.
“These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies. And as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous,” Brand said.
“Now, during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual,” added the comedian, known for his flamboyant style and appearance.
Live shows planned by Brand have also been cancelled since the allegations were splashed across the media.
(Reporting by Sarah Young and Kate Holton; editing by William Schomberg, Peter Graff and Mark Heinrich)