Arts

Russell Brand Content Removed From BBC

UPDATE: The BBC has removed some programs featuring Russell Brand from streamer iPlayer and radio service Sounds.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC does not ban or remove content when it is a matter of public record, unless we have justification for doing so. There is limited content featuring Russell Brand on iPlayer and Sounds. We’ve reviewed that content and made a considered decision to remove some of it, having assessed that it now falls below public expectations.”

The removed content includes an episode of “QI” and a Joe Wicks podcast, which featured Brand as a guest.

PREVIOUSLY: Google-owned YouTube has suspended advertisements on videos by comedian and actor Russell Brand after allegations of rape and sexual assault.

YouTube said it had suspended the monetization of Brand’s channel for “violating our Creator Responsibility policy,” adding that the action was in order to “protect” its users.

“If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action,” said a YouTube spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Brands channels remain on YouTube. One of them has 6.6 million subscribers, while the others range from 20,000 to 426,000.

The allegations against Brand were first made in a joint investigation by The Times of London, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 documentary “Dispatches” over the weekend. They saw four women accuse Brand of sexual assault and, in one case, rape.

The BBC and Banijay, who employed the comedian at the time the incidents were said to have taken place, have launched an investigation into the claims.

Brand has strenuously denied the allegations. He pre-emptively denied the allegations in a YouTube video titled “So, This Is Happening,” where he said he “absolutely refutes” the “litany of astonishing, rather baroque, attacks.”

Meanwhile, the London Metropolitan police has received a report about an assault that allegedly took place in 2003. A police spokesperson said: “Officers are in contact with the woman and will be providing her with support.”

The YouTube move is the latest in a series of Brand cancellations. His live tour “Bipolarisation” has been postponed, with the first show to be affected at the Theatre Royal Windsor on Tuesday. On Monday, his publishing deal with Pan Macmillan imprint Bluebird was suspended.

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