Why Russell Brand Wasn’t Just a One-time Phenomenon: Unveiling the Extraordinary

In the summer of 1999, when I was 16 years old, I have a vivid memory of walking to a train station in West London from a babysitting job. As I was walking, a man in his 40s pulled up in a Range Rover and approached me. He claimed to be on television and introduced me to his young son, referring to me as “Daddy’s new girlfriend.” I didn’t know who this man was, but I didn’t get in the car with him. It wasn’t because I was afraid, but because I had just bought the album Californication for my minidisc player and wanted to listen to it on the way home. Looking back, what he did wasn’t abnormal for the time. This incident occurred two years before Chris Evans, the 35-year-old TV presenter and radio host (not the actor), married the 18-year-old pop star Billie Piper in Las Vegas. Their relationship, which started when he gifted her a Ferrari filled with roses, had lasted only a few months. In 2002, BBC Radio 1 host Chris Moyles made an inappropriate offer on air, expressing his willingness to take the singer Charlotte Church’s virginity on her 16th birthday. He believed that now that she was of legal age, he could guide her through her sexual awakening.

I often pondered how millennial women in Britain survived the 2000s. They had to endure incessant fat shaming, ritualized alcohol abuse, and widespread predatory behavior that was glorified in popular culture. Over the weekend, both the London Times and the TV documentary series Dispatches exposed coordinated allegations against Russell Brand. The former TV star, who has now transitioned into a conspiratorial wellness personality, has been accused of victimizing multiple individuals from 2006 to 2013. One of his alleged victims is a 16-year-old girl whom he picked up from the street when he was 30 years old. He referred to her as “the child” and treated her like a baby when he found out she was a virgin, later choking her with his penis until she fearfully punched him in the stomach to defend herself. The reports also claim that Brand raped another woman at his Los Angeles home and attempted to rape yet another, only stopping when she screamed so loudly that he flew into a rage. Brand vehemently denies these allegations, describing them as “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks.”

Apart from these serious allegations, there is recorded evidence from the 2000s, available on TV comedy specials and Brand’s own radio show, which show how he relentlessly harassed and sexualized women he worked with, dehumanizing them on air and then belittling them when they objected. However, Brand did not invent this insidious misogyny prevalent in the 2000s; he merely propagated it. The culture at that time portrayed girls and young women who objected to mistreatment as joyless scolds, too uncool to understand the humor or too unattractive to matter.

During this era, women were expected to willingly participate in their own objectification or suffer vilification. This expectation was fueled by pornography and promoted by men’s magazines. In 1999, when I was considering which college to attend, a naked image of a children’s TV presenter named Gail Porter was projected onto the Houses of Parliament without her consent or knowledge, as part of a stunt by the magazine FHM. This incident spoke volumes about the limited expectations for girls my age. Why invest in education or a career when society only valued sexual power? This messaging had a profound effect. By 2006, more than half of British girls surveyed said they would consider nude modeling, according to Natasha Walter’s book Living Dolls. The previous year, female students at Pembroke College, Cambridge posed topless for their student magazine. Additionally, out of the 11 female cast members from the 2006 season of the popular British reality show Big Brother, four posed topless after leaving the show to capitalize on their newfound notoriety.

It is not a coincidence that Russell Brand had a connection to Big Brother, hosting a spin-off talk-show series about the British franchise. It is also worth noting that Andrew Tate, a toxic influencer currently facing charges of rape and sex trafficking in Romania (which he denies), also appeared on the show. Reality television, from its inception, relied on provocation and exposure. People tuned in to witness fights, hookups, and contestants breaking under pressure. The medium thrived on finding extreme personalities rather than average individuals to seclude in a televised goldfish bowl, promising them instant notoriety. Sex was always a subtext in these shows. I distinctly recall the tabloid press’s intense scrutiny in 2004 when two Big Brother contestants were rumored to have had sex on the show. To encourage such behavior, Playboy TV even offered a £50,000 prize at the time.

Therefore, it is unsurprising that Brand found a natural place in the Big Brother realm. The Dispatches documentary showcases moments where he pulls his pants down while sitting on a female interviewee’s lap and chases a man down the street, clad only in urine-soaked underwear, asking for a “cuddle.” His comedic style revolved around blatant and aggressive sexuality. He was unabashedly open about his personal life, writing about his heroin addiction and sex addiction in his memoir and flaunting his image as a sexual pest on TV and in movies. It is astonishing to see how Brand seemed to get away with his behavior for so long. While the attention now focuses on internal inquiries conducted by the BBC (which aired Brand’s radio show from 2005 to 2008) and Channel 4 (which hosted Big Brother), examining whether complaints were made at the time, this seems somewhat irrelevant since there is already substantial evidence available to the public. Brand’s predatory sexuality was fundamental to his personality and value proposition, and for a significant period, he was handsomely rewarded for it. Therefore, if we truly want to confront the legacy of pervasive cultural misogyny, we must not prematurely comfort ourselves with the idea that Russell Brand was an anomaly.


Denial of responsibility! Vigour Times is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
Denial of responsibility! Vigour Times is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
DMCA compliant image

Leave a Comment