YouTube CEO defends decision to demonetize Russell Brand's channel

YouTube CEO Neal Mohan defends decision to demonetize Russell Brand’s channel amid sexual assault allegations as it ‘could be damaging to the broader creator ecosystem’

  • Brand is estimated to earn more than $1.2 million a year from advertising revenue on his YouTube videos 
  •  Mohan said the decision was made in the wake of ‘serious’ allegations 
  • He vowed to uphold 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 taken over fears not stepping in could be ‘damaging to the broader creator ecosystem’.

Responding to accusations the platform could be censoring Brand, the executive cited its creator responsibility guidelines.

He told CBS Mornings: ‘It’s impacted a number of creators and personalities on the platform in the past. And that’s what played out in this particular case around the serious allegations.’

Brand, 48, produces around five videos a week for his 6.6million subscribers and is estimated to earn more than $1.2 million a year.

YouTube CEO Neal Mohan has stood by the decision to block Russell Brand from earning money from advertising revenue in the wake of damning sexual assaults allegations against the star

Russell Brand has around six million subscribers on YouTube, which earn him an estimated £49,000 a month 

Under the terms, he will be allowed to post videos on the platform but will not receive any  of the advertising revenue.

YouTube’s decision to block monetization on Brand’s channel has raised eyebrows for some who feel it is a heavy-handed response to the allegations which as yet have not resulted in any criminal charges.

Brand has been accused of sexual assaults and rape by multiple women, allegations which he strongly denies.

In their statement announcing the ban, YouTube said: ‘If 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 reiterated this sentiments and vowed to uphold the policy without ‘playing favorites’ by basing decisions on creators’ ‘content and behavior’ and not ‘who the person is’.

Alongside his main YouTube page Brand operates other channels including  Football Is Nice, which has some 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 subscription and video views on YouTube have exploded since 2017

Typically he could expect to take home half of the revenue generated by playing ads before during or after his videos, with the other 50 per cent going direct to YouTube.

Brand still has a presence on video platform Rumble, where his channel has 1.4million followers and he hosts a weekly live show at 5pm BST.

Most recently, he used the platform to vehemently refute the allegations laid before him following a joint investigation by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches. 

The four-year investigation saw four women come forward, claiming they were sexually and emotionally abused during the peak of his fame between 2006 and 2013. 

 Following its broadcast, more women came forward with complaints against Brand and in total up to 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 shows featuring him from its iPlayer site.

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