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Russell Brand’s YouTube channel demonetized over rape accusation

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Russell Brand’s YouTube channel demonetized over rape accusation

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Russell Brand will no longer be able to make money from his YouTube videos after the video platform suspended his channel’s ability to generate revenue from advertising.

YouTube confirmed in an email to Fortune on Tuesday that it had taken the decision to “suspend monetization” of Brand’s channel, days after an exposé by U.K. news outlets alleged the comedian had spent years committing sexual misconduct including rape.

Representatives for Brand did not respond to Fortune’s request for comment on those allegations or the demonetization of his YouTube channel.

“We have suspended monetization on Russell Brand’s channel for violating our Creator Responsibility policy,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. “If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”

The video-sharing site, which is owned by Google, said the move had been made as a direct result of serious allegations being made against Brand.

It would apply to all channels that may be owned or operated by him, the company added, meaning Brand will be prohibited from using a new or alternative channel to circumvent the sanctions.

YouTube’s Creator Responsibility Guidelines state that the platform can take action to protect its community of users if a creator’s conduct elsewhere is deemed to be harmful in some way.

The firm said the behavior Brand has been accused of has the potential to inflict harm, and could also damage trust among its user base and advertisers.

The demonetization of Brand’s channel isn’t the first instance in which YouTube has stopped a famous influencer making money from its platform following accusations of sexual misconduct.

In 2021, the company suspended advertising from popular YouTuber David Dobrik’s channel after a member of his entourage—dubbed the “Vlog Squad”—was accused of raping a woman.

That same year, beauty influencer James Charles’s channel was demonetized after several minors accused him of predatory behavior.

Brand accused of sexual assault and rape

In a 90-minute TV special and accompanying news article published by British broadcaster Channel 4 and U.K. newspaper The Times over the weekend, four women accused Brand of engaging in abusive behavior including rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse.

One of his accusers said she was just 16 (the minimum age of consent in the U.K.) and still at school when she began seeing the then 31-year-old Brand, who allegedly referred to her as “the child” during their three-month relationship.

The alleged misconduct outlined in the investigation was said to have occurred between 2006 and 2013, when Brand’s fame was at its peak and he was starring in Hollywood movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek and Disney’s Bedtime Stories. It was also the period during which he married and divorced pop superstar Katy Perry.

Having his YouTube income frozen is just one consequence Brand is facing in light of the allegations made against him over the weekend.

He was soon dropped by his agent following the airing of Channel 4’s documentary, and on Monday, it was reported that British police were investigating fresh claims against the comedian.

Brand’s YouTube channel, which he has used to make controversial claims about a range of topics from the mainstream media to the U.S. political system, has 6.6 million followers and is still accessible on the platform.

On Friday, he used his channel to preemptively deny “very serious criminal allegations” against him before The Times and Channel 4 published the results of a years-long investigation into his behavior.

“I feel like I am being attacked,” Brand said in a video that has now been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

I’ve received two extremely disturbing letters… listing a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks,” he told his followers.“Amidst this litany of astonishing rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute. 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. As I’ve written about, I was very, very promiscuous. During that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual.”

Brand has openly spoken about his recovery from sex and drug addictions in the past.

“Sex is recreational for me, as well as a way of accruing status and validation,” he wrote in his 2007 autobiography My Booky Wook. “I’m a bloke from Grays with a good job and a terrific haircut who’s been given a Wonka ticket to a lovely sex factory ‘cos of the ol’ fame.”

He also revealed in his book that during a stint in rehab, he “had to write a victims’ list,” which he described as “a litany of the women I’d wronged as a result of my sexual addiction.”

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