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"We emphatically reject the UK Parliament’s demands,” Rumble said in a statement posted on X after receiving a letter from the UK government questioning whether the video platform will suspend Russell Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.
What’s going on with Brand?
Russell Brand is a British actor, comedian, and content creator who has been making videos centered around political and social topics that aim to “awaken” the masses as he urges citizens to “stay free.”
Brand is now being accused of sexual assault and other wrongdoing against several women in years passed based on allegations publicized from a joint investigation by UK outlets, including Sunday Times, the Times of London and Channel 4 Dispatches.
Brand has several YouTube channels, including Awakening With Russell, Stay Free With Russell Brand and Football Is Nice, and the BBC is among the outlets that said it confirmed that YouTube decided to block revenue on “all channels owned and operated” by him amid the recent allegations.
But Brand also has audiences elsewhere, including on a self-titled channel on Rumble, where he recently posted a video called “So, This Is Happening.” In the video, he explained media reached out to him with “extremely egregious and aggressive attacks as well as some pretty stupid stuff” along with “some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.”
Brand goes on to talk about when he was working in the mainstream. “As I’ve written about in my books, I was very, very promiscuous. Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent and I’m being transparent about it now,” he said.
UK minister writes Rumble
Dame Dinenage, chair of the UK’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee wrote to Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski, noting that they are “looking at [Brand’s] use of social media, including Rumble where he issued his pre-emptive response to the accusations.”
She does not express concern about whether what Brand says should be publicized or whether there may be information in his content that’s useful in resolving the allegations. Instead, she explains that the government is focused on Brand’s money.
“While we recognize that Rumble is not the creator of the content by Mr Brand, we are concerned that he may be able to profit from his content on the platform,” Dame writes.
She goes on to ask the Rumble CEO to provide certain information. And what type of things does the UK government want to know?
“Whether Mr. Brand is able to monetise his content, including his videos relating to the serious allegations against him,” and “whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr. Brand's ability to earn money on the platform.”
Rumble addressed the matter publicly in an X post, stating, “Today we received an extremely disturbing letter from a committee chair in the UK Parliament.”
Rumble “deplores” all serious crimes, the response made clear, but “it is vital to note that recent allegations against Russell Brand have nothing to do with content on Rumble’s platform.
“…YouTube announced that based solely on these media accusations, it is barring Mr. Brand from monetizing his video content. Rumble stands for very different values.”
The reply continues: “We have devoted ourselves to the vital cause of defending a free internet - meaning an internet where no one arbitrarily dictates which ideas can or cannot be heard, or which citizens may or may not be entitled to a platform.”
Rumble said it is “deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so. Singling out an individual and demanding his ban is even more disturbing given the absence of any connection between the allegations and his content on Rumble.”
And if the platform’s position was made clear enough, the response added a bit of additional clarity. “Although it may be politically and socially easier for Rumble to join a cancel culture mob, doing so would be a violation of our company’s values and mission.”