Google-owned video streaming platform YouTube has demonetized Russell Brand while acknowledging that the British comedian has not violated any of the platform’s policies.
The move comes amid a media smear campaign against Brand.
Over the weekend, several media outlets coordinated to drop reports containing allegations from multiple women that Brand sexually assaulted them more than a decade ago.
And while Brand has not been charged or convicted of any crime, YouTube announced Tuesday that it had suspended monetization for Brand’s channel, citing his alleged “off-platform behavior.”
According to the streaming company, Brand violated YouTube’s policy by simply being accused of a crime.
The site’s decision prevents Brand from earning revenue that comes from advertisements embedded in YouTube videos.
The ads are the main way content creators make money on the platform.
Brand has a large following on the platform, with more than 6 million subscribers.
Most of Brand’s videos consist of critiquing government and corporate power structures, bias in the media, and encouraging users to embrace critical thinking when it comes to mainstream news stories.
They routinely earn millions of views, often more than the corporate media outlets he’s calling out.
Forbes reported on Tuesday that YouTube’s decision to cut off a key source of income for Brand comes after “his publisher, management agency, and charities severed ties over the allegations.”
The platform made the call after four women accused Brand of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013.
The claims went public following a joint campaign by British corporate media outlets The Sunday Times, The Times, and Channel 4 Dispatches.
In a video Brand posted to his YouTube channel last Friday, the comedian insisted that his relationships with these women were “consensual” and called the claims “very serious criminal allegations.”
As Slay News reported, Brand blasted the allegations as a “litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks” against himself.
He added he has always been “transparent” with the consensual nature of his relationships.
“To see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question: is there another agenda at play?” he said.
In its official statement about demonetizing Brand, YouTube stated, “We have suspended monetization on Russell Brand’s channel for violating our creator responsibility policy.
“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees, or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”
The site confirmed that the decision happened “following serious allegations against the creator.
“This action means the channel is no longer able to monetize on YouTube.”
YouTube failed to note that none of the allegations against Brand have been proven, however.
Since the allegations were reported, Brand has “lost his book deal with Pan Macmillan, been dropped by his management agency and had dates for his ‘Bipolarisation’ tour postponed and charities have cut ties with the star,” Forbes added.
Multiple streaming platforms have moved to drop content featuring Brand since the allegations.
BBC confirmed to The Daily Mail on Tuesday that it had removed clips featuring Brand from its platforms, iPlayer and BBC Sounds.
U.K.’s Channel 4 has removed episodes featuring Brand from its streaming service as well.
A spokesperson for the network told The DailyMail, “We have taken down content featuring Russell Brand from our streaming service while we look into this matter.
“This includes the Celebrity Bake Off episode.”