Russell Brand on Friday shared his first video after numerous sexual assault allegations were made against him on Saturday. In the clip, which he shared to X, he blasted “big tech” and “legacy media” for trying to shut down “independent media,” including him.
He did not directly address the claims made by four anonymous women — which he denied in a video shared before they were made public — except to say, “Obviously, it’s been an extraordinary and distressing week.”
After the joint exposé by Channel 4, The Times, and The Sunday Times, Channel 4 and BBC removed TV and audio shows featuring the comedian, Paramount+ took down his comedy special, and his upcoming live tour has also been canceled.
Netflix has, however, opted to keep his 2018 special up for now.
In his video, Brand lashed out at the UK’s Online Safety Bill, which was passed through Parliament earlier this week, and the Trusted News Initiative that was co-founded by the BBC. He described the latter as “a collaboration between big tech and legacy media organizations to target, control, choke and shut down independent media organizations like this one.”
Following his demonetization on YouTube, he also urged his fans to follow him on the social media platform Rumble, as the company has “made a clear commitment to free speech.” He said it will be his new “primary platform.”
British police have launched an investigation into the claims uncovered in Saturday’s report. One of the women was 16 at the time of the alleged incident, the age of consent in Britain.
Brand’s talent agency, Tavistock Wood also, dropped him, though it was later revealed that a report was made to the agency from an accuser in 2020.
His book deal with Pan Macmillan imprint Bluebird has similarly been suspended. A rep for the company said in a statement, “These are very serious allegations and in the light of them, Bluebird has taken the decision to pause all future publishing with Russell Brand.”
Channel 4 has also launched an internal investigation into Brand’s behavior. The comedian had several shows on the network, including “The Russell Brand Show,” “Russell Brand’s Got Issues” and “Russell Brand’s Ponderland.”