LONDON (AP) — YouTube said Tuesday that Russell Brand will no longer make money from the video streaming site after several women made allegations of s****l a*sault against the comedian-turned-influencer.
The BBC has removed some of Brand’s material from its streaming archives, joining a growing list of organizations distancing themselves from the artist, who denies s****l a*sault and has not been charged with any criminal offenses.
YouTube said monetization of Brand’s account, which has 6.6 million subscribers, had been suspended “following serious allegations against the creator.”
“This decision applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand,” the Google-owned video service said.
The suspension means the brand won’t be able to make money from ads running in and alongside YouTube videos, whose titles include “What REALLY started the Hawaii fires?” and “Covid Tsar admits lockdowns were NEVER about science.”
Other channels a*sociated with Brand’s main YouTube page include Awakening With Russell, which has 426,000 subscribers, Football Is Nice, which has some 20,000 subscribers, and Stay Free With Russell Brand, which has 22,200 subscribers.
Brand still has a presence on Rumble, a video site popular with some conservative and far-right groups, where his channel has 1.4 million followers. He also has 11.2 million followers on X, formerly Twitter, and 3.8 million on Instagram.
Brand, 48, denies allegations of s****l a*sault made by four women in a Channel 4 television documentary and in The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Among the accusers, who have not been named, one said she was s****lly a*saulted during a relationship with him when she was 16. Another woman claims Brand raped her in Los Angeles in 2012.
The four allegations date from between 2006 and 2013. The London Metropolitan Police said that since the allegations became public, they have received a report of a separate s****l a*sault dating from 2003.
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Known for his wild and risky stand-up routines, Brand was a major British star in the early 2000s. He hosted radio and television shows, wrote a memoir chronicling his battles with drugs and alcohol, appeared in several Hollywood films and was briefly married to pop star Katy Perry between 2010 and 2012.
In recent years, Brand has largely disappeared from mainstream media, but has built a large following online with videos mixing wellness and conspiracy theories. His YouTube channel has featured COVID-19 conspiracy theories, vaccine misinformation, and interviews with controversial broadcasters including Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan.
He also continued to tour as a comedian, performing in front of hundreds of people at a London venue on Saturday. He was due to perform in Windsor, west London, on Tuesday, but promoters said the rest of the tour was being postponed following the allegations.
The BBC said it had removed content featuring Brand from its iPlayer and Sounds apps, “after a*sessing that it now fell short of audience expectations”.
Brand has also been dropped by his talent agency and a publisher since the allegations became public.
Ellie Tomsett, lecturer in media and communications at Birmingham City University, said it was too early to say whether the claims would end Brand’s acting career.
“I think there’s definitely a market for ‘outsider’ comedians… or for people who want to position themselves as an avenue or an alternative to current understandings of gender equality,” she said. “And so I think in the longer term, will this have an impact on his career in the way you would expect? Maybe not.