Rumble Slams British Lawmakers Over ‘Disturbing’ Demand To Demonetize Russell Brand After Sexual Assault Allegations
Rumble, a self-styled anti-censorship video site popular among right-wing commentators and conspiracy theorists, slammed British lawmakers on Wednesday for asking whether it would stop Russell Brand from making money on the platform owing to allegations of sexual assault, shunning what it said was a “cancel culture mob” and painting the comedian as another culture wars victim.
Rumble criticized the “deeply inappropriate and dangerous” letter Dame Caroline Dinenage, the chair of Britain’s House of Commons media committee, had sent to chief executive Chris Pavlovski regarding Brand, who denies the allegations.
In the letter, which Rumble posted on X alongside its reply, Dinenage said she was “concerned” Brand might be able to profit from his content on the platform and asked if he was still able to monetize content in light of the “serious allegations against him.”
Rumble rejected Parliament’s “demand” and said it “obviously deplores sexual assault, rape, and all serious crimes” but would not bow down and join a “cancel culture mob.”
Singling the comedian out for a ban is particularly “disturbing” as the allegations have “nothing to do” with Rumble or Brand’s content on it, the letter said.
While it may not agree with the behavior of many creators posting content, Rumble said it refuses to penalize them for “actions that have nothing to do with our platform.”
YouTube on Tuesday said it was “demonetizing” Brand’s accounts in the wake of the allegations against him, effectively cutting a major source of income for the comedian. The Google-owned platform said Brand had violated its “creator responsibility policy” and it was taking action to “protect the community.” Though it is rare for YouTube to demonetize creators for their behavior off of the platform, it is not without precedent and the site has demonetized beauty influencer James Charles and internet personality David Dobrik in the past for similar reasons.
Brand was accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013 by four women as part of an investigation by major British news outlets over the weekend. He strongly denies the allegations and ahead of the story going live preemptively posted a video to YouTube, Rumble and other platforms on Friday, dismissing the claims as “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks.” Brand acknowledged he was “very promiscuous” at the height of his fame but insisted his relationships were “always consensual.” Since the report, Brand has lost his book deal with Pan Macmillan, been dropped by his management agency, been ditched by charities and had dates for his “Bipolarisation” tour postponed. Brand, as well as allied commentators, has since moved to style himself as a victim of a “cancel culture” war.
What To Watch For
Dinenage has also written to other media companies asking whether Brand can profit from his content and whether they plan on acting in light of the allegations against him. She has approached TikTok and reportedly X, and Instagram. According to the BBC, TikTok’s vice president for public policy in Europe, Theo Bertram, said Brand has never been part of its “creator fund” monetization program and said it would keep the comedian’s content “under review.” Dinenage also asked X chief executive Linda Yaccarino whether Elon Musk, who bought the platform last year, had ever “personally intervened in any decisions” on Brand’s status on the platform.
Musk, also a self-styled champion of free speech, described the letter to Rumble as “outrageous behavior by this minister of censorship!” In another X post, he said “accusations do not mean someone is guilty,” stressing that determination is “for the courts to decide.” He said he had spoken with his ex wife Talulah Riley, a British actress who worked with Brand on the 2007 movie St. Trinian’s, who was “surprised to hear these allegations” and felt the comedian was “always polite and gentlemanly to her.”
YouTube Blocks Russell Brand From Making Money On His Channel After Sexual Assault Allegations (Forbes)
Russell Brand Accused Of Rape And Sexual Assault By Four Women, Report Says (Forbes)
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