Russell Brand's career lived on posing as a "dickensian sex pest," as one commenter perfectly put it, and it died last weekend in a documentary exposé reporting numerous claims of rape, sexual assault and other abuse at his hands. In the aftermath, he's been dumped by his agent, lost a book deal and now is being demonetized by YouTube, where he has become a prominent conspiracy theorist.
YouTube has suspended Russell Brand's channels from making money from adverts for "violating" its "creator responsibility policy". The video platform said it was taking action "to protect" its users. Meanwhile, the BBC said it had removed some programmes featuring the comedian and actor from its streaming services. It comes after he was accused of rape and sexual assaults between 2006 and 2013. He denies the claims, saying his relationships were "always consensual".
The common refrain among his angry defenders is "what happened to innocent until proven guilty?" and it's so regular that I was tempted to do a whole post just to point out that the presumption of innocence and due process in general apply to "the authorities convicting you of a crime and sending you to jail" not to "YouTube paying you to say covid vaccines cause your penis to fall off." Maybe that would help, I thought. But you look around and realize: these are the same people who are also ranting that Sen. John Fetterman is dead and has been replaced by a double or a robot. It's completely pointless. Even my quickly-doused impulse to engage with it reflects our deep general failure in media to appreciate the extent and extremity of the delusional insanity we thereby platform.