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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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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