The consequences of the investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches which revealed a string of serious sex crime allegations against comedian Russell Brand continue to be felt.
Now, advertisers are pulling their content from social media site Rumble, which appears to be supporting Brand. Bosses there were asked by the House of Commons media committee to confirm if Brand is able to monetise from content on the platform but they refused the request, stating that the allegations "have nothing to do with content on Rumble's platform". By comparison, YouTube suspended the monetisation of Brand's channel last Tuesday (19 September).
Brand broke his silence on Friday (22 September), six days after the Times published their story and Channel 4 aired a Dispatches special called “Russell Brand: In Plain Sight” on Saturday 16 September, which detailed how four women had spoken out against the comedian to say he had allegedly assaulted and abused them in the early 2000s. Brand had denied the allegations in another social media video prior to them becoming public.
In the video, which has been posted to social media sites Youtube, X and Rumble, he said: “it has been an extraordinary and distressing week” and then went on to thank everyone for their support and for “questioning the information you have been presented with”. Brand also then encouraged people to “follow me on Rumble” as “that’s the only way we can keep our voice”.
Adverts paused while investigation is ongoing
Well known brands including fast-food chain Burger King, fashion retailer Asos, the Barbican and HelloFresh, the recipe box delivery service, have all now removed their ads from the site, as reported by The Guardian.
Burger King also told the News Movement it had paused all advertising while investigations into the allegations were ongoing. Asos said it had manually removed its ads from Rumble. Barbican said it had asked its media agency to exclude the site from where its ads appear.
Psychologist Jordan Peterson has criticised Burger King for their decision to pull ads from the site. He re-posted an article about businesses removing their content from Rumble and said: "That includes@BurgerKing. For those of you who care to know. Maybe eat at the other place. For a while.”
Other people have also accused Burger King of being “woke” because of their decision. One Youtuber urged their followers to "Boycott Burger King” and added: “Woke corporations suck. Do you agree?”, as reported by Newsweek.
The Times estimated that Brand earns £27,000 a month from his Rumble channel, where he has around 1.4 million followers, and also a further £1m a year from YouTube, before ads were suspended.
Up until the allegations came to light, on 16 September, Brand hosted a weekday talk show on Rumble but this has not happened since. He usually speaks about a wide range of topics, sharing his sometimes extreme views on everything from conspiracy theories to veganism. Brand was also on tour with a show called 'Bipolarisation' at the time revelations and, although he performed a show on London on the evening of 16 September, the remaining three tour dates were subsequently postponed.
Some comedians have also spoken out against Brand, including Daniel Sloss, who spoke in the documentary, and London Hughes, who posted on her X account (formerly Twitter) after it aired. Some content which featured Brand has also been removed from BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds, as investigations continue in to the allegations against Brand.