Russell Brand insists 'agenda at play' as rape allegations persist: report
As Russell Brand faces allegations of rape, assault and sexual abuse, the reality television-turned social media believes there's an "agenda" against him due to his "fame," Wired reports.
Per Wired, ahead of the UK's Channel Four's Saturday, September 16 airing of "an hour-long documentary in which several women accused Brand of rape and assault," the influencer "in a video on his YouTube channel, titled 'So, This Is Happening,' rejected the allegations saying, "[It] makes me question, is there another agenda at play?"
Brand hasn't posted to any of the platforms since his 'So This Is Happening' video—but he did perform at a live show on Saturday night, to a loyal crowd. On X many blue ticks—those users willing to back [Elon] Musk's vision with $8 per month—have rallied to support the actor. Misinformation expert Owen Jones did a snap analysis of responses to tweets by media organizations about the story. Seventy percent of top-rated tweets were in support of Brand, suggesting that the economics that support his pivot to conspiracy are bulletproof to scandal.
The news outlet also notes:
Brand's YouTube channel is a compendium of contemporary bullshit. Covid lockdowns were exercises in social control. The US has 'biolabs' in Ukraine; the West's support for Ukraine is capitalist imperialism. Central bank digital currencies are the government's attempts to control your money. Evolving gender norms are causing a 'crisis in masculinity' and declines in fertility. There are routine crossovers between Brand's content and the wider conspiracy cinematic universe, with clips on his channels of conspiracy theorist Robert Kennedy Junior, far-right Hungarian president Viktor Orban, and Carlson, who recorded an interview with Brand in August.
Joe Ondrack, head of investigations at the misinformation-tracking company Logically told Wired, "I think Russell Brand's a particularly interesting case. He follows a lot of the ostensibly health yoga retreat, kind of left-leaning, anti-capitalist figures, who got really suckered into Covid skepticism, Covid denialism, and anti-vax, and then spat out of the Great Reset at the other end.”
Joe Mulhall, director of research at the anti-racism group Hope Not Hate added, "That's the million-dollar question. How much of it is kind of earnest and genuine and a political shift, and how much of it is grifting?"
He believes "it's a combination of the two," according to the report. "People get ostracized from the mainstream for views they’ve held or things they say. 'And then they find this alternative space online, whereby all of a sudden their numbers grow very, very quickly, and they start to see financial incentives. And so they pivot increasingly in that direction. So it's kind of symbiotic.'"
Wired's full report is available at this link.
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