Russell Brand’s sexual assault allegations met with conspiracy theories | Brasarr

Russell Brand's sexual assault allegations met with conspiracy theories

When comedian-turned-conservative-influencer Russell Brand preemptively denied sexual-assault allegations on Friday, he latched onto a conspiracy theory that quickly caught on among his supporters and other far-right voices: That the media had ulterior motives for publishing the stories about him. .

“Is there another agenda at play?” he asked in his preemptive video response to the investigation published on Saturday The times and Channel 4which documented four accusations of sexual assault against him.

Deep skepticism about the media has become fundamental to many conservatives over the past decade, and Brand’s invocation of that skepticism quickly found support from members of his conservative online cohort, notably Elon Musk and Tucker Carlson.

The Times published its investigation report Saturday, carried out in conjunction with The Sunday Times and Channel 4, in which the women accused him of sexual abuse that allegedly took place between 2006 and 2013. Brand’s management agency, Tavistock Wood Management, severed ties with him shortly after the report came to light , writing that it had been “horribly misled by him.”

Brand sent his reply video to YouTube, X and the conservative video site Rumble hinting that the report is coming and alerting its followers to its truth. Brand denied the accusations and maintained that all of his previous sexual relationships had been consensual.

YouTube said Tuesday it had blocked Brand from monetizing its platform following the sexual assault allegations. The online platform said in a statement that it had “suspended monetization” on Brand’s channel for violating its “creator responsibility policy.”

“If a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community,” YouTube said.

The decision is likely to come as a blow to Brand, who has 6.6 million subscribers on YouTube, where he has peddled conspiracy theories on topics such as Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. He has 11.2 million followers on X, formerly Twitter, and 1.4 million on Rumble, where his is among the most followed accounts.

However, conservative internet figures have followed Brand’s lead by using conspiracy theories to attack the claims, and have found a largely friendly audience on platforms that have backed away from content moderation.

X owner Elon Musk and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson quickly defended Brand, suggesting the allegations were made because of Brand’s criticism of the media.

“Of course. They don’t like competition,” Musk replied to Brand’s video.

Carlson more directly tied the charges against Brand to his politics.

“Criticize the pharmaceutical companies, question the war in Ukraine and you can be pretty sure this is going to happen,” Carlson wrote.

Neither Carlson nor Musk discussed the allegations in detail. The Times reported that that the four women who made accusations of sexual assault against Brand in their investigative report did not know each other previously. The reporters spent several years interviewing hundreds of people, the report also said.

Some other conservative influencers, including Ian Miles Cheong, added to the pushback, with Cheong equating the allegations against Brand to those made against other high-profile men.

Brand, once a popular mainstream comedian who starred in films including “Get Him to the Greek” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” has emerged in recent years as a popular figure in conservative circles for his straight- to-camera videos in which he takes aim at many far-right targets.

Brand has made criticism of the media a central part of his messaging, noting in his response video that he sets out to “criticize, attack and undermine the news.”

Those criticisms have resonated with X, especially among Musk and his allies, who have also been vocal critics of the media. Musk tweeted at least three times in support of Brand since Friday, posting on Sunday evening: “I support Russell Brand. That man is not evil.”

Andrew Tate, a men’s rights influencer awaiting trial in Romania after being indicted on suspicion of human trafficking and rape, posted “Welcome to the club” on X and tagged Brand’s account on Saturday over a photo referring to “crazy b— – allegations.”

Jake Shields, a former UFC fighter who has made a point of embracing conservative views online and has close to 400,000 followers on X, posted repeatedly about the allegations over the weekend, including a post that insinuated the Times article contained “false rape allegations” and said: “It would be nice to see some of these girls face long prison sentences.”

X’s view count metrics, which have been subject to some scepticism, showed that many of the efforts to cast doubt on the accusations have gained significant traction. the times’ own thread on X about the survey received 15.5 million views, according to the platform — a quarter of the views that Brand’s preventative video garnered.

A search for “Russell Brand” — still a trending topic Monday — turned up posts casting doubt on the claims. None of the first 20 posts in the search results contained links to any reporting on the new claims.

Instead, the top search results for “Russell Brand” on X suggested that Brand is “being attacked” for his views on Covid-19 and Ukraine. Many of the posts also criticize the mainstream and heritage media in general, claiming that the media has referred to Brand as “guilty” and failed to provide evidence for the allegations against him.

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