Russell Brand has been blocked from earning more money from his YouTube channel as his ability to make millions from social media started to crumble in response to the sex attack allegations against him.
YouTube said it had taken action “to protect” its customers because the comedian had “violated our … policy” through his “off-platform behaviour”.
The move means that Brand, 48, who has been engulfed in controversy since allegations of rape and other sex crimes made by four women were revealed at the weekend, will lose a major source of income.
He has been estimated to make between £2,000 and £4,000 per video on his YouTube channel where he has more than six million followers and broadcasts daily.
The BBC also removed some of its content featuring Brand from its iPlayer and Sounds websites “having assessed that it now falls below public expectations.”
The review, lead by Peter Johnston, the director of editorial complaints, will look at “at any complaints against Brand, what was known, and what was done”.
On Monday, The Times reported that a woman claims Brand used the BBC’s car service to pick her up from school when she was 16 so she could visit his home.
The broadcaster hopes to release an interim update on the review “within weeks”, BBC News added.
The alleged offence is separate to the claims made by the four women in an investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme of predatory offending, including rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, between 2006 and 2013.
The Sunday Times has said that it has compiled a list of at least 10 more potential victims whose cases have yet to be brought to public attention.
Brand has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that all his sexual relationships have been consensual and suggesting that the claims against him are part of some “other agenda”.
But the storm surrounding him intensified on Tuesday as alleged victims gave accounts of their experiences.
A former model told The Sun that Brand had stalked her after leaving a bar in Primrose Hill in 2005, walking “about five paces behind me” demanding sex, saying: “Let’s just f*** right here.”
The woman added: “It was just stomach-churning. He was quite a big guy and it was one of the few times I was really scared. I definitely felt that in his head this was all a bit of fun, but it wasn’t. I was so rattled by it that I started to run. I ran as fast as I could to get away from him.”
Another woman, known as Esme, told The Times that Brand had allegedly been threatening and verbally abusive towards her when she refused to have sex with him. Another, using the name Lisa, told the paper that the comedian had sung about Soham killer Ian Huntley during a consensual sexual encounter in 2008.
Meanwhile, it emerged that in a now deleted YouTube video, Brand can be heard joking about raping a woman during a recording of Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast in 2013. YouTube said in a statement that its decision to block Brand from earning from his partner account “applies to all channels that may be owned or operated by Russell Brand”. It added: “If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community.”
Other channels associated with Brand’s main YouTube page include 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.
Brand also has large followings on Instagram and Tik Tok and uses social media to air conspiracy theories and attack what he claims is the “mainstream media” and establishment. Brand also has a presence on Rumble, where his channel has 1.4 million followers, and hosts a weekly live show.
The comedian has a dedicated subscribers’ area on the community platform Locals, where members can sign up for a minimum $60 (£48) a year to access special bonus content and the chance to interact with him directly. His remaining UK performances in his Bipolarisation tour have all been postponed.
Announcing it was removing somme content from its its iPlayer and Sounds apps, a BBC spokesman said: “The BBC does not ban or remove content when it is a matter of public record, unless we have justification for doing so. There is limited content featuring Russell Brand on iPlayer and Sounds. We’ve reviewed that content and made a considered decision to remove some of it, having assessed that it now falls below public expectations.”
The BBC press office spokesperson did not elaborate on what shows have been removed but it appears that an episode of QI and a Joe Wicks podcast, both which featured Russell Brand as a guest, have been removed.
Bosses turning their backs on Brand
Talent agency Tavistock Wood said it has “terminated all professional ties” to Brand after the allegations were first reported on Saturday.
On Sunday morning Trevi, a charity working to end violence against women, cut ties with Brand. The organisation said it had been “deeply saddened and upset” by the alleged victim’s stories.
Channel 4 removed all programmes linked to Brand from its website, including episodes of The Great British Bake Off and Big Brother’s Big Mouth.
On Monday, Pan Macmillan imprint Bluebird said they would pause all future publishing with Brand.
On Tuesday morning YouTube suspended Brand’s channels from making money from adverts. “If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action,” a YouTube spokesperson said.