Video site Rumble has lashed out at the UK government for asking if it would stop Russell Brand earning money on the platform following the sexual assault allegations made against the comedian and actor.
According to a statement on Rumble’s X/Twitter feed, the company received an “extremely disturbing letter” from a “committee chair” from the British government. In response, the company said it “emphatically reject[s] the UK Parliament’s demands” and would not “join a cancel culture mob.” (See the full statement below.)
Over the weekend, Brand was accused of committing acts of rape and sexual assault in a joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches program. He denies criminal wrongdoing and says his relationships have always been consensual.
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Caroline Dineage, the chair of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, is widely reported have written to several social media platforms, including Rumble, over the allegations. The letter to Rumble noted “concern” Brand could continue to profit from his content.
“While we recognise that Rumble is not the creator of the content published by Mr Brand, we are concerned that he may be able to profit from his content on the platform,” wrote Dineage in her letter to Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski.
“We would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr Brand is able to monetise his content, including his videos relating to the serious accusations against him. If so, we would like to know whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.”
Yesterday, YouTube stopped Brand from monetising content on the Google-owned social platform because he had violated the company’s “creator responsibility policy.” Rumble is taking a different tack.
While the social messaging site “deplores sexual assault, rape, and all serious crimes” and does not agree with “the behavior of many Rumble creators,” it claimed it’s “vital to note that the recent allegations against Russell Brand have nothing to do with content on Rumble’s platform.”
“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.
“We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or earn a living from doing so.”
Brand has 1.4 million subscribers on Rumble and 6.6 million on YouTube. He posted regular content to both before the allegations emerged. He has stopped after posting a preemptive video on Friday denying the “litany” of allegations.
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