YouTube halts Russell Brand channel revenues after sexual assault allegations

YouTube halts Russell Brand channel revenues after sexual assault allegations

Russell Brand leaves the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre in north-west London after performing a comedy set on Saturday September 16, 2023. He faces claims about his sexual behaviour at the height of his fame. He has vehemently denied the allegations.

James Manning – Pa Images | Pa Images | Getty Images

YouTube said Tuesday it had suspended monetization on the channel of actor and comedian Russell Brand, who faces multiple allegations of sexual assault.

This prevents playing advertisements alongside his videos, which usually generate money for the content creator in proportion to their view count.

Brand, who has predominantly exited mainstream media to become an internet commentator in recent years, has 6.61 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel.

All channels owned or operated by Brand were suspended from the YouTube Partner Program following “serious allegations against the creator,” a spokesperson said. His other smaller channels include Football is Nice, Awakening With Russell and Stay Free With Russell Brand.

Brand has strongly denied all accusations of illegality and said that all his relationships during the period of alleged assaults were consensual.

YouTube said the demonetization was due to violation of its “Creator Responsibility policy.”

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

The company said the action was “rare” but consistent with previous applications of the policy, including the suspension of adverts from the channels of influencers David Dobrik and James Charles.

YouTube creators continue to be able to make money through sponsorship deals with outside parties.

Brand has 3.8 million subscribers on Instagram, 11.2 million followers on X — formerly known as Twitter — and 1.4 million followers on Rumble.

A joint investigation by the U.K.’s Channel 4 and the Sunday Times newspaper, released in print and in a television documentary over the weekend, contained the accounts of four women who allege misconduct by the star.

One said Brand raped her in his Los Angeles home. A second woman accused him of emotional abuse and controlling behavior during a relationship when she was 16 and he was in his 30s. Two more women alleged sexual assault on two separate occassions.

CNBC has not independently confirmed any of the allegations against Brand.

Brand was privately presented with the allegations by Channel 4 and Sunday Times investigation for comment ahead of publication. In a video Brand posted before they were released by the news organizations, he said, “The relationships that I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I’m bing transparent about it now.”

CNBC has reached out to Brand for comment and is awaiting reply.

London’s Metropolitan Police said Monday it was aware of the allegations, and that it had on Sunday received a “report of a sexual assault, which was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003.”

“We first spoke with the Sunday Times on Saturday 16 September and have since made further approaches to the Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure that anyone who believes they have been the victim of a sexual offence is aware of how to report this to the police,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.

While Brand performed a live show in London on Saturday, the promotors of his “Bipolarisation” tour said they were postponing the remaining shows.