Hollywood actor turned independent journalist Russell Brand denied sexual assault allegations levied against him and stated that he is the target of a coordinated censorship campaign by the governments of the U.S. and the U.K., as well as big tech firms.
Last week, the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches released a joint report in which four anonymous women accused Brand of rape and sexual assault, alleging that the criminal conduct took place between 2006 and 2013. Brand immediately denied the allegations, stating that past relationships were “always consensual.”
Despite the fact that Brand has not been charged with a crime, a number of platforms — including YouTube — have already banned his show. Pressure has also been placed on YouTube’s main competitor, Rumble, after a U.K. parliamentary inquiry called on the company to cut Brand’s income. Rumble has stated that Brand will remain on the platform, adding that the company will not be giving in to a “cancel culture” campaign.
In a video statement published Friday, the former leftist actor turned critic of the modern left thanked Rumble for its support and stated that he is the target of an organized censorship campaign. “By now you’re probably aware that the British government has asked big tech platforms to censor our online content, and that some online platforms have complied with that request,” Brand said. He then explained that this has happened in the context of the U.K.’s “Online Safety” legislation that grants “sweeping surveillance and censorship powers.”
The actor also informed viewers about the “Trusted News Initiative,” which he described as a “collaboration between big tech and legacy media to target, control, choke, and shut down independent media organizations like this one.”
“It’s clear that these organizations collaborate on constructing narratives,” Brand said. “Whether that’s on the war, or the pandemic, and of course there are other examples.”
He went on to thank Rumble, where he plans to stream his show primarily from now on, stating that they have made a “clear commitment to free speech.” Brand concluded by saying that his show will be back on Monday.
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) September 22, 2023