YouTube Lays Down Hammer on Russell Brand

Social media platform won't let comedian, accused of sexual assault, make money off his channels
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2023 9:40 AM CDT
YouTube Lays Down Hammer on Russell Brand
Russell Brand is seen in northwest London after performing a comedy set on Saturday.   (James Manning/PA via AP)

Russell Brand's agency has bid him farewell, and promoters have called off his remaining comedy tour dates in the UK in the wake of new sexual-assault allegations against him, and now YouTube has delivered its own blow: The social media platform has blocked the 48-year-old comedian's main channel, which boasts 6.6 million subscribers, from earning money from ads and paid promotions on the videos he posts there. This move will nix "a potentially significant source of income" for Brand, per the New York Times. A YouTube rep says that Brand was suspended for breaching the platform's "creator responsibility" policy, which lays out rules for both on- and off-platform behavior.

Among the behaviors that YouTube, owned by Google, bars: "intending to cause malicious harm to others" and "participating in abuse or violence, demonstrating cruelty, or participating in fraudulent or deceptive behavior that leads to real-world harm." "If a creator's off-platform behavior harms our users, employees, or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community," the YouTube rep tells the Times. "This decision applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand," YouTube notes, per the AP, which adds that Brand has at least three other channels associated with his main channel.

It's not clear if the monetization suspension is permanent, or, if temporary, how long it will last. Meanwhile, the BBC has scrubbed some of Brand's content from its own streaming archives. "We've reviewed that content and made a considered decision to remove some of it, having assessed that it now falls below public expectations," the BBC said in a Tuesday statement, per NBC News. Brand still remains on other social media platforms, including X (formerly known as Twitter, where he has 11.2 million followers), Instagram (3.8 million), and the right-wing Rumble (1.4 million).

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