Russel Brand in front of red background

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YouTube demonetizes Russell Brand’s channel amid sexual assault allegations

Brand previously earned an estimated $2500 – $5000 per YouTube video, posting political and conspiracy theory content.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Following this weekend’s bombshell report accusing Russell Brand of rape, sexual harassment and abusing a 16-year-old girl, Russell Brand is now facing professional repercussions. Alongside postponements for his upcoming comedy tour, YouTube has demonetized his channel.

“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action,” said a YouTube spokesperson.

Brand has 6.6 million followers on his main channel. Rebranding himself as a political commentator after his heyday as an actor and comedian, he now posts a lot of conspiracy theory content.

He’s particularly known for his anti-vaxx views, publishing videos with titles like, “Hang on, Biden 9/11 Speech Was A Lie?!” and “So, Trump Just Said THIS About Vaccines And It Changes EVERYTHING.”

Brand’s last YouTube update was a pre-emptive response to the sexual misconduct allegations, where he claims to be a victim of “a co-ordinated attack” due to his political views. He denies all the accusations, which were based on extensive research and interviews conducted by a team of UK journalists. According to Brand, all of his relationships were consensual.

How Russell Brand makes money online

On Monday a social media expert told the Guardian that Brand was likely earning about $2500 – $5000 per YouTube video. So despite his gradual departure from mainstream celebrity, he’s still making a ton of money – in part due to an enthusiastic fanbase of conspiracy theorists.

He also has over a million followers on the video platform Rumble, which hosts a lot of far-right creators. His arrangement there includes a pay-per-view standup special and paid subscriber content.

It’s entirely possible that Brand will continue posting and earning money through Rumble. However demonetizing his most public outlet was an obvious move for YouTube – especially considering the perennial controversy over YouTubers monetizing their own controversies.

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