YouTube demonetizes Russell Brand’s channel following allegations

YouTube demonetizes Russell Brand’s channel following allegations

Russell Brand has been prevented from making money on YouTube for violating its creator responsibility policy.

The action comes following a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches, which reported sexual assault allegations from four women against the comedian and content creator.

According to the BBC, YouTube says it’s blocking ad revenue for Brand as a means to “to protect” its users. “If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action,” a YouTube spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Beyond Brand’s main YouTube channel, with 6.6 million YouTube subscribers, the Google-owned company said its decision “applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand,” which include Stay Free With Russell Brand, Awakening With Russell, and Football Is Nice, which have over 468,000 subscribers between them.

Mashable reached out to YouTube for further comment. YouTube responded by confirming that Brand is suspended from the YouTube Partner Program. A spokesperson said, “Our Creator Responsibility Guidelines are clear that if a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees, or ecosystem, we may take action to protect our community, including by suspending monetisation. While these behaviours are rare, they can cause widespread harm to the YouTube community, and potentially damage the trust among creators, users, and advertisers.”

They added that this is line with how the company has dealt with certain situations in the past, noting the temporary demonetization of David Dobrik and James Charles’ respective accounts (both of which have since made comebacks on the platform). YouTube says that creators who are suspended from monetization “are prohibited from using a new or alternate channel to circumvent our enforcement decision.”

The comedian’s ongoing Bipolarisation tour has also been postponed in the wake of the allegations.

Brand pivoted to a career in online wellness and influencing around the time of the pandemic, garnering millions of subscribers in the process. His content ranged from spirituality and wellness to conspiracy theories, anti-establishment messaging and interviews with the likes of Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan. In Sept. 2021, for example, he shared information on how to avoid COVID-19 safety measures and was accused of anti-vaxx messaging and misinformation.

Brand still has a presence on Rumble, an “alternative” video platform that has become popular with right-wing conservatives and conspiracy theorists.

On Friday night, prior to the Times‘ publication of the investigation, Brand took to Rumble and X posting a video to say that “very, very serious criminal allegations” were about to be made against him. Brand has denied all allegations.

UPDATE: Sep. 19, 2023, 11:59 a.m. EDT Included comment from YouTube.

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