YouTube block Russell Brand’s channel from making money

Brand at the BBC Radio 1 studios
Brand presented a radio show for the BBC between 2006 and 2008 - JEAA/ZDS

Russell Brand’s YouTube channel has been blocked from making money in the wake of sexual abuse allegations against him.

The decision taken by the Google-owned platform, where the comedian has 6.6 million subscribers, was swiftly followed on Tuesday by a BBC intervention to remove two shows featuring the comedian from iPlayer.

It was the latest fallout since four women accused him over the weekend of rape, sexual assault and abuse, with the alleged incidents said to have taken place between 2006 and 2013 in the UK and US.

The uproar surrounding the allegations, which Brand vehemently denies, has also led the comic’s publisher to pause all future books with him and his promoter to postpone a stand-up tour that was due to take place this month.

YouTube said it was “demonetising” any channels related to Brand, by removing adverts, and that its rules cover behaviour taking place away from the website itself.

“We have suspended monetisation on Russell Brand’s channel for violating our creator responsibility policy,” a spokesman said. “If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”

‘Falls below public expectations’

It is likely to be a significant blow, with social media experts speculating that he could make between £2,000 and £4,000 per video on the website given his large following.

Meanwhile, the BBC removed a 2018 episode of QI featuring Brand as a panellist and a Joe Wicks podcast from 2021 that featured him as a guest, both of which were available on iPlayer until Monday evening.

A spokesman for the corporation said: “The BBC does not ban or remove content when it is a matter of public record, unless we have justification for doing so.

“There is limited content featuring Russell Brand on iPlayer and Sounds. We’ve reviewed that content and made a considered decision to remove some of it, having 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.

It has also emerged that Brand and his wife Laura filed to strike off their joint food company Brand New Collective Ltd on Sept 12, just before the allegations emerged. He has also recently closed his pub The Crown Inn in Pishill, Oxfordshire, locals have claimed.

In another development, the 48-year-old has stepped down from two of his businesses, One Arm Bandit and Mayfair Film Partnership Limited, a film productions company, giving up his position as director for both companies.

It came as Dame Caroline Dinenage, the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee chair, wrote to the BBC, Channel 4 and TikTok on Tuesday to request further details on what actions they are taking in response to the allegations.

Brand has a large social media presence which can generate significant income through sponsorships and brand partnerships.

Others have resisted pressure to cancel Brand, such as Netflix which still has his comedy series “Re:Birth” on its platform.

Brand has denied the allegations and said his relationships have been “always consensual”.

Acast, the podcast company, has announced that it turned off advertisements on Brand’s Under The Skin podcast immediately following news of the recent allegations made against the comedian.