Rumble has rejected a “dangerous” demand by MPs to demonetise Russell Brand’s channel, as it vowed to shun “a cancel culture mob”. The Telegraph has the story.
Dame Caroline Dinenage, the Tory Chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, wrote to the video platform on Wednesday to say she was “concerned” that the comedian, who has 1.4 million followers for his daily weekday shows, “may be able to profit from his content on the platform”.
The Committee is sending letters to numerous companies connected to Brand in the wake of four women accusing him last weekend of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, with the alleged incidents said to have taken place between 2006 and 2013 in the U.K. and U.S.
YouTube took the rare step of ‘demonetising’ Brand’s channel on Monday – which has 6.6 million followers – meaning he can no longer make income from adverts on it.
It was the latest in a swathe of cancellations that have hit the 48-year-old since the anonymous allegations surfaced, with the BBC, Channel 4, Brand’s podcast company, his book publisher, an Australian wellness festival and the promoters for his U.K. tour all cutting ties.
In a letter which has sparked uproar on social media, Dame Caroline asked Rumble: “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.”
But the move has backfired, as Rumble has issued a stinging public rebuke in response, insisting that it stands for “an internet where no one arbitrarily dictates which ideas can or cannot be heard”.
Rumble wrote in a public statement: “We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the U.K. Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so.
“Singling out an individual and demanding his ban is even more disturbing given the absence of any connection between the allegations and his content on Rumble.”
The company added pointedly: “Although it may be politically and socially easier for Rumble to join a cancel culture mob, doing so would be a violation of our company’s values and mission. We emphatically reject the U.K. Parliament’s demands.”
Rumble’s dress down of the select committee makes it the first company to explicitly refuse to take any actions while the allegations remain as unproven claims. Netflix, which has not commented, has also not removed his Re:Birth show despite BBC iPlayer and Channel 4 pulling down episodes featuring the comedian.
Worth reading in full.
Read the letters in full on Rumble’s X (Twitter) account.