As RedState reported, comedian and podcast host Russell Brand is facing a variety of sexual misconduct allegations dating to his time in Hollywood.
The Saving Silverman star has dramatically changed his outlook over the last decade, getting married and having children while turning from what he has often described as a “promiscuous” past. Still, while he admits to having moral failings, he has denied any criminal wrongdoing related to the recent allegations, all of which date back over a decade.
Perhaps he’s not telling the truth? But if he isn’t, that should be a judgment made in a courtroom, not in the court of public opinion. Unfortunately, many of the platforms that Brand uses for his media work are preemptively canceling him, though. He has already been demonized on YouTube and other social media sites, leading Brand to focus on Rumble, a live-streaming site that prioritizes free speech.
Now, the advertiser boycott of Rumble has begun.
A number of large companies have pulled their advertisements from the video platform Rumble, where Russell Brand broadcasts his weekly show, in the week since allegations of rape and sexual assault against the comedian came to light.
The News Movement reported on Friday that Burger King, Asos, the Barbican and HelloFresh, the recipe box delivery service, had removed their ads. Brand has 1.4m followers on the platform. YouTube suspended Brand’s ability to earn money on its platform on Tuesday but Rumble has rejected calls to do the same. On Friday, Brand said the moves to block him from receiving advertising revenue for his videos on social media platforms have occurred “in the context of the online safety bill”.
This is such a dangerous precedent to set. It essentially allows anyone’s income stream to be quashed by the mere existence of allegations. What does that do? It incentivizes those with ulterior motives to make such allegations, knowing they can destroy someone without ever having to prove their case.
Social media companies should not be demonetizing content creators over allegations not even related to the content they create. Brand did nothing to break YouTube’s terms of service. If any of his accusers want to take him to court, criminally or civilly, they are welcome to do so, but platforms should become judge and jury.
I have no idea what the truth is here. I do know that no one should want to live in a society where you can be fired or demonetized without being able to even offer a defense. The advertisers that are leaving Rumble over this do not deserve your support. If you were crazy enough to go to Burger King before this, choose another fast food joint next time.