SCIENCE & TECH: YouTube Blocks Russell Brand From Making Money Through Its Platform
YouTube suspended the comedian and actor Russell Brand on Tuesday from making money from videos posted to the social media platform, three days after British news organizations published an investigation in which several women accused Mr. Brand of sexual assault.
The channel is a potentially significant source of income for Mr. Brand, who was earning money through advertisements and paid promotions.
A spokeswoman for YouTube said in an email that Mr. Brand, whose channel on the platform has 6.6 million subscribers, was suspended for violating YouTube’s “creator responsibility policy.”
“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,” the spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman did not respond to an inquiry about how long the suspension would last.
Mr. Brand on Friday posted a clip to his channel denying what he called “serious criminal allegations.” That statement was released the day before The Times of London and Sunday Times of London newspapers, and Dispatches, a TV program, published their joint investigation in which four women accused Mr. Brand of sexual assault, including one accusation of rape.
Mr. Brand once was a TV and radio star in Britain and in 2007 published a best-selling memoir. He had a brief Hollywood career that included a role in the 2008 rom-com “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” but he has lately pivoted to making online videos, running wellness events and touring comedy shows.
While Mr. Brand’s earlier stand-up routines had a broadly left-wing focus, skewering the British establishment and examining subjects like social inequality, he has recently reinvented himself to focus on conservative talking points, often seeming to target an American audience. On YouTube, recent videos have included Mr. Brand discussing his skepticism toward Covid-19 vaccines and dissecting his own appearances on Fox News.
Mr. Brand also hosts a show on Rumble, a social media network associated with conservative voices, but he did not appear for a scheduled broadcast on Monday.