YouTube has demonetized comedian Russell Brand's account after allegations dropped that he sexually assaulted and raped multiple women. The BBC has also announced an internal review of Brand's time at the network and is "urgently looking into" issues raised in a Channel 4 documentary on Brand. Glenn points out the apparent hypocrisy of the outlet, which had no problem paying Brand, despite his alleged behavior — which he has denied — being an "open secret," according to one accuser. Plus, Glenn and Stu discuss how disturbing the companies' quick reactions have been, given that Brand hasn't even been charged with or convicted of anything yet. If YouTube can demonetize someone for accusations of "off-platform behavior" from over a decade ago, Glenn says, then "we live in Salem Witch Trial times."
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: So Russell Brand, is in trouble.
Now, here's something -- I want to read this, from the BBC.
From the BBC. Russell Brand resurfaced clips, give a sobering reminder of noughties culture.
The noughties are the noughts, you know. As the 00s of the early -- of the early century.
The early part of the -- the zeros. The noughties. We're being very noughty right now.
From BBC. The noughties aren't so long ago, that it's possible to dismiss them as a different age. There are parts of the decade that British culture would rather forget.
Russell Brand was at the center of a messy celebrity scene of the 2000s that now feels like the cool Britannia Party gone sour.
The recent allegations against the comedian, and resurfaced clips of things he said and did on the air and on stage, have provided a sobering reminder of the seedier side of the pop and media culture in that decade.
Okay. All right.
First of all, Russell Brand is kind of like their Howard Stern. Okay. Okay.
You didn't know exactly what you were getting in those days with Russell Brand. Okay?
Just think Howard Stern. Now, it's provided a sobering reminder of the seedier side of pop media culture in that decade.
Could I just ask the BBC to turn on the radio and listen to the lyrics of songs, they're now playing. Because I guarantee, there's something playing on the BBC about somebody's butt doing something.
Among the claims. Now, listen to this. Resurfaced clips is what this is all about.
Among the claims in channel four's recent dispatched investigation. Into the star. There was a clip from his BBC radio two show in 2004, that seemed to have gone largely unnoticed at the time.
In it Brand interviewed Jimmy Savile. Now, Jimmy Savile was a big, big radio host.
You know, the --
STU: Top of the pops, right?
GLENN: Top of the pops. Everybody loved Jimmy salve I will.
They found out, he's a child predator.
And was molesting kids, in the hospital, while he was visiting. Review, but nobody knows this.
At the time.
Among claims Channel 4's recent dispatches, shows him on BBC, in 2007.
In it, Brand interviewed Jimmy Savile and apparently offered up his very attractive assistant to go meet him naked.
Sound like Howard Stern?
GLENN: Okay. This is in 2007, he said this to the BBC host, of.
Of top of the pops. Another BBC host said, you go ahead and take my assistant here. She'll go get naked. Funny. He said, naughty word. Naughty. Get it?
Okay. When did they expose, so to speak, Jimmy Savile, being a child predator? When was that, Stu?
GLENN: 2012. So something that went unnoticed, in 2007.
STU: Because no one knew about the accusation.
GLENN: No one knew about this. Okay.
While the clip was from before salve I will had been exposed as a serial sexual predator, it scarcely believed now that it was broadcast Britain's biggest radio station.
You know, wait a minute. Hang on just a second. Not that Russell Brand said that. That's not really the problem, BBC. The problem is you hired that guy and held him up as a hero for decades on the BBC.
There are several clips of Brand pushing the line between outrageous and offensive stuff that were used in the Channel 4 documentary on a Saturday.
They're doing an exposé, on what they aired twenty years ago, and making Russell Brand into the bad guy.
You aired it. You aired it. It's like Westwood 1, coming in and saying, let me tell you something.
I want to show you some videotape, of what Howard Stern was doing.
Yeah. Because you were paying him to do it.
How is that a problem for him, and not you?
I don't know. It's crazy.
STU: Ask they actually are sort of doing that to Stern right now. There are definitely people out there looking for --
GLENN: Looking. You spent five minutes, and you could find it. Of course.
STU: Just over the September 11th, you know, anniversary. Happened to stumble upon this Howard Stern Show, from September 11th.
STU: It is a different era. The -- the -- the difference in -- as that's going on. They're watching buildings in realtime. It's a fascinating thing to watch from a historical perspective. But the anger on the show, and the way that they were talking. The words they were saying.
The things that came out of their mouths.
It was --
GLENN: Were they singing songs about doing things with people's butts?
STU: They were not.
They were doing that right before the planes actually hit the building.
But it was interesting to hear the occasion -- Robin Quivers, who was ready to nuke the entire Middle East.
It was like -- it was pretty interesting to watch. You go back and watch those shows. Look, it was a different time.
You're going to judge these by today's standards. That's always dumb.
It's always dumb to go back to a previous era, and judge it by today's standards. It's always dumb to do that.
And it does seem to be what everyone wants to do.
GLENN: Well, I just can't take the employer, doing a documentary on how outrageous he was. And how he should be stoned to death, at the time they were paying him to do those things. I mean, that takes quite the balls.
STU: Well, and the BBC in particular, is in the Russell Brand situation, is specifically accused. Like, they are --
GLENN: They were --
STU: They were saying, they were helping it along. That's the accusation.
GLENN: Like listening to a documentary on BBC.
STU: Right. Like they were sending cars to pick up the girls that were 16 years old for Russell Brand.
GLENN: Which, by the way, was not illegal at the time.
It sounds horrible, but it wasn't illegal at the time.
STU: And no one was saying it was illegal. Not necessarily the best --
GLENN: Now, why is this all happening to him? Why? Why? Why?
STU: It's a good question.
I think there's a very obvious answer to it.
GLENN: Go ahead.
STU: Well, when he was famous and married to Katy Perry and doing all this, there was no news of these accusations. He was known as a bad guy. Right? Like a very promiscuous guy. To his own telling. He was addicted to drugs. He was addicted to alcohol. He was addicted to sex.
GLENN: Has a changed all of that.
STU: He's changed all of that. And has become a commentator who has been skeptical of some of the things you're not allowed to be skeptical of, like COVID. Climate change. ESG standards.
GLENN: Yeah. And the World Economic Forum is his biggest thing.
STU: Now he's been --
GLENN: Now he's being targeted for that.
STU: Look, of course, you would agree, if he committed horrible crimes against people, he should be punished for them, even if he has reformed his character.
He still is held responsible for crimes.
GLENN: Yes. Yes.
STU: But this does not seem to be what's -- it may not be what's going on.
GLENN: We have a hard time in this culture. Where we just make accusations, and we destroy people.
GLENN: Now, listen, Russell Brand has now been demonetized by YouTube.
Now, what does that mean?
Russell Brand makes his money on his YouTube videos. Okay?
So they have just demonetized him.
So they won't sell or give him any money for what he's doing.
The BBC said it removed some programs featuring him from its streaming services.
So they were still paying for the guy.
Now, it looks like YouTube is doing the same, because the quote from YouTube is absolutely amazing.
Where is it? Where is it? Brand took his online social media platforms. Saying it was a coordinated attack.
Yes, it was. They said that now. I can't find the exact quote.
STU: While you're looking for that. Can we talk about quickly what the line is here?
Because there is a process that goes on.
When you're going to be convicted of a crime. And that begins with an accusation. Then comes that investigation.
Then comes a charge, filed against you.
Then comes a conviction, that comes a sentence. Right?
Why can't these companies just draw a line? Like make a line. What's the line?
A charge. Right? If someone gets criminally charged with something, we're going to pull them off of our service.
GLENN: Is that fair?
STU: I don't know. I think --
GLENN: We used to believe it was a conviction.
STU: That's where I would go. If you're convicted of a crime. Even if you might say you're innocent, we have to have some way of sorting this out. That's what our legal system is for.
GLENN: And if you want to do that. If you want to take it off early, just pay the person. Pay the person. So you don't destroy their life.
STU: The NFL, you're under contract. And someone comes up with an accusation, and they think they need to pull you off. They pull you out. They put you on the commissioner's suspended list. But you're still getting paid. Because, look, there's no conviction.
Nothing has been proven. If you're proven in a court of law to be guilty of a crime, It makes sense. That is the line, probably.
Instead, what it is, if someone accuses you -- now, of course, people have been saying bad things about Russell Brand for a very long time.
He's been saying bad things about himself, for a very, very long time. All the money that was coming through was fine. Until this news story had been written.
He was not charged with a crime. Let alone convicted of one.
He may be charged and convicted later.
But he hasn't been yet.
He said his relationships were always consensual.
He was accused of rape and sexual assault between 2006 and 2013.
He denies the claims. Was any -- were any charges filed?
Did anybody go to the police at the time? Anything.
Anything. He says, no.
I don't want to judge, because I don't know the man. We're not in a courtroom.
But here's what YouTube said. You ready for this standard, Stu?
See if this is -- if this is a little earlier than conviction.
If a creator's off platform behavior harms our users, our employees, or ecosystem, we take action.
Now, I don't know how his off-platform behavior in 2006.
GLENN: Yeah. Harmed your users, employees, or ecosystem.
What they're saying is, if somebody calls in our ecosystem, and says, I can't believe you guys are doing this. I'm not going to advertise. Or I'm not going to provide that chair for your conference room. I'm not going to do it. Because you will keep him up. That harms the ecosystem, and they can take action. This is -- we live in the Salem witch trial tames.
STU: It's true, though.
And, you know what, though. I can understand how these companies react this way.
Going back to your book, Dark Future. And the Great Reset.
And then great example of this is Twitter. You know, you go to use Twitter or whatever the heck they're calling it this week.
And, I mean, if I get another ad for Cheech and Chong gummies. Like every one of their ads are just trash. Because there's no companies on there anymore. They've all just left. Because Elon Musk said, you're allowed to speak freely. So all the companies just left. I mean, he himself is saying, that revenue is down 80 percent.
GLENN: And he himself is being charged with crimes that are not crimes. He's charged with not hiring new migrants that don't have green cards, don't have anything.
That is the DOJ and the Pentagon's rule for a rocket company!