YouTube is temporarily preventing comedian Russell Brand from making money from his videos following multiple allegations of rape and sexual assault against him.
In a statement to CNN Tuesday, YouTube said it had “suspended monetization on Russell Brand’s channel” for violating its Creator Responsibility policy, which sets standards for how creators should behave on and off the platform.
“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,” the statement said.
YouTube, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), added that it had taken the action “following serious allegations” made against the comedian over the weekend.
On Saturday, British media outlets The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 released a joint investigation in which four women alleged Brand sexually assaulted them on separate occasions between 2006 and 2013. One of the women said she was 16 and Brand 31 at the time of the alleged assault in London.
On Friday, Brand pre-emptively denied the allegations in a video posted to his verified Instagram page.
“Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute,” Brand said in his video.
In recent years, Brand has focused his attention on his YouTube channel, which has been accused of promoting conspiracy theories, including some related to the coronavirus pandemic.
YouTube also said its governance procedures prohibited creators from using new or alternative channels to “circumvent [its] enforcement decision” and generate income elsewhere on the platform.
Allyson Stewart-Allen, a marketing and branding expert at consultancy International Marketing Partners, said YouTube was “rightly” placing distance between itself and the comedian’s “toxic brand.”
On Monday, London’s Metropolitan Police said it was investigating an allegation of sexual assault by Brand. A woman reported the assault, alleged to have taken place in 2003, to the Met Sunday, after the the joint media report was released, the police force noted.
A BBC spokesperson said Sunday that the British broadcaster was “urgently looking into” issues raised in the Channel 4 documentary. Brand worked on BBC radio programs between 2006 and 2008.