Russell Brand called on fans for financial help, asking them to pay a subscription fee for his Rumble page after YouTube demonetized his accounts in response to sexual assault and rape allegations against the comedian.
Brand’s plea for subscribers came just hours after the Metropolitan Police announced an investigation into a “number of allegations of sexual offenses” raised against the former BBC presenter, which he has repeatedly denied. In a live stream with his 1.6 million followers on Rumble, the scandal-plagued actor blasted “legacy media” and touched on how recent accusations have “affected him,” the Independent reported.
“The global media war against free speech is in full swing, how do I know? Take a guess,” Brand said during his Monday broadcast. “Today, of course, we’re talking about events of the last week but, in particular, the collusion between big tech and government and an apparent concerted effort by legacy media and now the state and big tech to silence independent media voices.”
He added: “Obviously, it’s difficult for me to be entirely objective given the events of the past week but that’s what we’ll try to do.”
Earlier this month, the Times of London, The Sunday Times and U.K. Channel 4’s “Dispatches” published a joint investigation in which several women accused Brand of sexual assault and rape between 2006 and 2013. One of the accusers said she was just 16 years old when a 30-something Brand started an “emotionally and sexually abusive” relationship with her. Another two women alleged Brand raped them on separate occasions one year apart.
Days after the report, YouTube confirmed that Brand would no longer be allowed to profit from his page.
“You now know that I have been demonetized on YouTube,” Brand said in the stream. He added that he was “fully well aware that the government wrote to social media platforms to demand that I be further censored,” seemingly referencing a letter penned by Dame Caroline Dinenage, chair of the House of Commons media committee.
According to BBC, she wrote to Rumble, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook’s parent company, Meta, asking if they would follow YouTube’s lead.
In response, Rumble said it “deplores sexual assault, rape, and all serious crimes, and believes that both alleged victims and the accused are entitled to a full and serious investigation, it is vital to note that recent allegations against Russell Brand have nothing to do with content on Rumble’s platform.
“We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so.”
A Rumble subscription for Brand’s page costs $60 annually.
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