YouTube CEO Neal Mohan defends decision to demonetize Russell Brand’s channel over sexual assault allegations, saying it could be ‘harmful to the broader creator ecosystem’
- Brand is estimated to earn more than $1.2 million a year in advertising revenue from his YouTube videos
- Mohan said the decision was taken after “serious” allegations
- He pledged to enforce the policy without ‘playing favorites’
YouTube’s CEO has defended his decision to demonetize Russell Brand’s channel following allegations of sexual assault.
Neal Mohan said the decision was made because he was concerned that not intervening would be “harmful to the broader creator ecosystem.”
In response to allegations that the platform could censor Brand, the director cited creator responsibility guidelines.
He told CBS mornings: “It has impacted a number of creators and personalities on the platform in the past. And that is what transpired in this particular case surrounding the serious allegations.”
Brand, 48, produces about five videos a week for his 6.6 million subscribers and is estimated to earn more than $1.2 million a year.
YouTube CEO Neal Mohan backs decision to block Russell Brand from monetizing ad revenue after damning sexual abuse allegations against the star
Russell Brand has around six million subscribers on YouTube, which earns him an estimated £49,000 a month
According to the terms, he is allowed to post videos on the platform, but he does not receive any advertising revenue.
YouTube’s decision to block monetization of Brand’s channel has raised eyebrows among some who feel it is a heavy-handed response to the allegations, which have so far not resulted in criminal charges.
Brand has been accused of sexual assault and rape by several women, accusations he strongly denies.
In their statement announcing the ban, YouTube said: “When a creator’s off-platform behavior harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community. This decision applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand.”
Yesterday, Mohan echoed these sentiments and vowed to enforce the policy without “playing favorites” by basing decisions on the “content and behavior” of the creators and not on “who the person is.”
In addition to his main YouTube page, Brand also operates other channels including Football Is Nice, which has around 20,000 subscribers, Awakening With Russell, which has 426,000 subscribers, and Stay Free With Russell Brand, which has 22,200 subscribers.
Russell Brand’s subscriptions and video views on YouTube have exploded since 2017
Normally, he could expect to take home half of the revenue generated by playing ads before or after his videos, with the remaining 50 percent going directly to YouTube.
Brand still has a presence on video platform Rumble, where his channel has 1.4 million followers and he hosts a weekly live show at 5pm BST.
He recently used the platform to vehemently refute allegations made against him following a joint investigation by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
The four-year investigation identified four women who alleged they were sexually and emotionally abused during the height of his fame between 2006 and 2013.
After the broadcast, more women came forward with complaints against Brand and a total of nine different women have now accused him of abusive and predatory behavior.
All content starring the comedian and actor has already been removed from British broadcaster Channel 4’s player, including episodes of Great British Bake Off and Big Brother’s Big Mouth.
On Saturday, the BBC confirmed it had removed programs featuring him from its iPlayer site.