YouTube said it had stopped “monetisation” on Brand’s platform because he had violated the company’s “creator responsibility policy.” Brand denies criminal wrongdoing.
“If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
Brand has 6.6M subscribers on YouTube and his videos regularly get millions of views. A recent interview with Tucker Carlson has been watched 2.5M times.
His content will remain on YouTube, but he will no longer be able to make money from videos, which lean heavily into popular internet conspiracies about politics, Covid, and UFOs.
Sara McCorquodale, chief executive of social media analysis agency CORQ, told The Guardian that Brand makes an estimated £2,000 ($2,500) to £4,000 per video, which would equate to up to £1M a year if he published five a week.
YouTube’s intervention follows The Times, Sunday Times, and Channel 4 reporting allegations that Brand sexually assaulted four women at the height of his fame.
The Metropolitan Police said on Monday it had received a “report of sexual assault” in 2003 against Russell Brand. Officers are in contact with the woman, who alleges she was assaulted in Soho, London.
Brand vehemently denies the claims and has said all of his relationships were consensual. He has not commented since publishing a video across his social media channels in which he preemptively denied the “litany” of allegations about his criminal behavior.
“The relationships that I had were absolutely always consensual,” he said. “I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent. And I’m being transparent about it now.”