Female Comics Warned Each Other About Russell Brand ‘Open Secret’ for Years

Unfortunately, the Brand ‘news’ wasn’t new to many women in the industry
Female Comics Warned Each Other About Russell Brand ‘Open Secret’ for Years

After The U.K. Times, The Sunday Times and U.K. network Channel 4’s Dispatches released the results of a joint investigative report with four women accusing Russell Brand of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, a competing narrative emerged, driven by Brand himself. Sure, I had plenty of sex, Brand said, but it was all consensual. The real story behind the accusations? It’s all part of a larger plot to punish Brand, the theory went, for “telling the truth” about the COVID vaccine on venues like Bill Maher’s Club Random. Righteous fellows like Alex Jones are defending Brand against the globalists’ scheme as well. 

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But if there is indeed a conspiracy to silence Brand for his March 2023 comments, it was one hell of a long con. Talent agency WME dropped Brand a few years ago with alleged sleazy behavior a big part of the reason, according to Puck’s Matthew Belloni. “When Brand was working in Hollywood, he was a notorious perv,” Belloni has reported. 

Comics like Jena Friedman also pointed out that the Brand news wasn’t exactly news.

Scottish comic Daniel Sloss, who spoke on the record in the Dispatches report, revealed how that open secret was shared in the comedy world. “I know that there are (online) groups set up by female comedians where they warn each other of comedians, and agents, people in the industry who to avoid,” Sloss said. “And I know for many, many years that women have been warning each other about Russell.”

Sloss himself has heard the rumors for years. “There were many stories. It wasn’t just coming from one person or one group of people. It was different incidents over different years, and of varying degrees of severity,” he continued. “I’ve stood in artist’s bars with agents, promoters, channel commissioners, and I’m hearing these allegations and rumors about Russell in the same room these people are in. And then, later on, he would be in a movie, on a television show, he would be hosting something. He was still being employed.”

Or at least he was. WME wasn’t the only company distancing itself from Brand. Acting roles on both sides of the pond dried up substantially; he spends most of his time now hosting podcasts that have notoriously swung to the right. That would be a weird fall for someone who was one of the biggest comic stars of the aughts if you didn’t believe the rumors were true. 

Brand did get a job in 2018 as a judge on Comedy Central's Roast Battles. But fellow judge Katherine Ryan regularly accused him of being a “sexual predator” during the show's tapings, reports Deadline. The accusations never aired but the unexpected roasting led the “absolutely furious” Brand to exit the show after a year. 

Did female comics anticipate Brand’s future anti-vax comments and start warning each other with made-up complaints a decade in advance so that the Establishment could spring its trap in 2023? If so, well played, Establishment! Or a different conclusion could be true — Brand has been awful for years, the not-even-half whispers are true and it’s time his behavior was brought into the light. 

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