An Australian wellness festival has become the latest to cancel Russell Brand in the wake of sexual assault allegations.
The 48-year-old comedian was due to headline The Wanderlust Festival next February, a yoga and wellbeing event in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
But he has now been axed from the event, where he was due to give a talk to wellness lovers, just weeks after his appearance was announced.
It comes after four women accused him last weekend of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, with the alleged incidents said to have taken place between 2006 and 2013 in the UK and US. The Metropolitan Police are investigating a separate allegation of a sexual assault in 2003.
Mr Brand vehemently denies the allegations and has said that his relationships have been “always consensual”.
Chain of cancellations
The comic is facing a litany of cancellations since the accusations, made anonymously in an investigation by Channel 4, The Times and Sunday Times.
Confirming the festival is cutting ties, Wanderlust’s chief executive Charlotte Hill said in a statement: “Due to the circumstances that have recently come to light, Wanderlust and Russell Brand have agreed that Mr Brand will not be appearing at the Wanderlust Festival.”
Tickets had already gone on sale. Wanderlust sells plant-based therapy supplements and describes itself as “dedicated to understanding, expanding and refining personal wellness”, a theme that has frequented Brand’s social media channels and popular videos on the platform Rumble in recent years.
It is the latest blow after YouTube, the BBC, his podcast company, his book publisher and his promoters all cut ties in various ways since the claims surfaced, with his UK stand-up tour postponed.
On Monday, Brand’s YouTube channel was blocked from making money with its adverts suspended, because the Google-owned company said he had “violat[ed] our Creator Responsibility policy”.
BBC and Channel 4 cut ties
It could have a significant impact, with social media experts speculating that he could make between £2,000 and £4,000 per video on the website given his large following of 6.6 million subscribers.
Meanwhile, the BBC removed a 2018 episode of QI featuring Brand as a panellist and a Joe Wicks podcast where he was a guest appearance from 2021 which were available on iPlayer until Monday evening.
A spokesman for the corporation said this was because it had “assessed that it now falls below public expectations”.
Channel 4 also removed episodes featuring him from their streaming service, including one episode of Celebrity Bake Off where he made an edible vagina.
Acast, the podcast company, announced on Tuesday that it turned off advertisements on Brand’s Under The Skin podcast “immediately” following news of the recent allegations made against the comedian.
Brand has also stepped down from two of his businesses, One Arm Bandit and Mayfair Film Partnership Limited, a film productions company, for which he was director.