YouTube temporarily prevents comedian Russell Brand from making money from his videos following multiple allegations of rape and sexual assault against him.
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, YouTube said it had “suspended monetization on Russell Brand’s channel” for violating its Creator Responsibility Policy, which sets standards for how creators should behave on and off the platform.
“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, our employees, or our ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,” the statement said.
YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet (GOOGL), Google’s parent company, added that it had taken this action “following serious allegations” made against the comedian over the weekend.
On Saturday, British media The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 released a joint investigation in which four women claimed that Brand sexually assaulted them on different occasions between 2006 and 2013. One of the women said she was 16 and Brand was 31 at the time of the alleged assault in London.
On Friday, Brand preemptively denied the allegations in a video posted to his verified Instagram page.
“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” Brand said in his video.
In recent years, Brand has focused his attention on his YouTube channel, which has been accused of promoting conspiracy theories, including some related to the coronavirus pandemic.
YouTube also said its governance procedures prohibit creators from using new or alternative channels to “circumvent (its) enforcement decision” and generate revenue elsewhere on the platform.
Allyson Stewart-Allen, a marketing and branding expert at consultancy International Marketing Partners, said YouTube was “rightly” putting distance between itself and the comedian’s “toxic brand.”
On Monday, London’s Metropolitan Police announced they were investigating an allegation of sexual assault by Brand. A woman reported the assault, believed to have taken place in 2003, to the Met Sunday after the joint media report was published, police said.
A BBC spokesperson said on Sunday that the British network was “urgently investigating” the issues raised in the Channel 4 documentary. Brand worked on BBC radio programs between 2006 and 2008.