Russell Brand Is Under Fire For Previously Dating A 16-Year-Old, So Why Is Harvey Milk Celebrated For The Same Exact Thing?

Russell Brand is being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, who claim that he assaulted them many years ago. Brand has been transparent about his seedy past and made the transition to married family man a long time ago. Why come after him now, after all this time?

By Gina Florio5 min read
Getty/Theo Wargo/NBC

Russell Brand, a renowned comedian known for his roles in films and hosting podcasts, is facing serious accusations of rape and sexual assault from four women, highlighted in an investigation by the UK's Sunday Times, The Times, and Channel 4’s Dispatches. The alleged incidents occurred over a seven-year period and are said to have taken place while Brand was affiliated with the BBC, on Channel 4, and during film productions. Brand has openly acknowledged his hedonistic past, and he is currently recognized for his endeavors in exposing what he believes to be lies propagated by the establishment media. He has vehemently denied the allegations, asserting that all his relationships have been consensual.

Russell Brand Retroactively Accused of Sexual Assault

The revelations come amidst the ongoing influence of the #MeToo movement, which has encouraged victims of sexual abuse to speak out. The investigation into Brand outlined one allegation of rape and three of sexual assault. The narratives provided by the women, backed by text messages and medical records, portray instances where consent was explicitly negated, yet unwanted advances ensued.

The industry seems to have been aware of Brand’s alleged predatory behavior, with rumors circulating and corroborative accounts emerging from several sources, confirming a consistent pattern of Brand’s misconduct. Daniel Sloss, a fellow comedian, confirmed such rumors, expressing that warnings about Brand's behavior were commonplace among female comedians. These disclosures prompted internal investigations by both the BBC and Channel 4, and further undisclosed allegations against Brand are being verified by The Times. Despite the serious nature of the allegations, Brand continued his scheduled performance, subtly addressing the issue during his act but avoiding direct confrontation with the allegations. Subsequently, the remaining dates of his comedy tour were postponed.

YouTube’s decision to suspend the monetization of Brand’s account has sparked further debates about the principles of justice and fair trial.

Public discourse around the timing of these accusations has arisen, with Brand’s growing influence seen as a potential catalyst for the revelations. With his recent focus on addressing perceived corruption within media and global politics, some, including Elon Musk and Dr. Simon Goddek, view the accusations as a systematic attack against dissenting voices in the mainstream narrative. Further, many pointed out the absence of legal proceedings and criticized the reliance on media for revealing such serious accusations, questioning the true intent behind these revelations. Additionally, some argued that maintaining a relationship after alleged abuse contradicts the credibility of the allegations. However, others assert the necessity to believe the victims and suspect Brand’s initiatives in media distrust as a preparative defense against potential revelations of his past actions.

YouTube’s decision to suspend the monetization of Brand’s account has sparked further debates about the principles of justice and fair trial. The suspension, which was executed in response to the allegations and before any formal legal judgment, has rendered Brand, who commands a substantial following on the platform, devoid of revenue from this significant stream. This action has garnered considerable criticism, pointing toward the apparent precedent it sets, questioning the equity in judgment when compared to other content creators with criminal backgrounds.

Candace Owens, a podcast host and author, along with many others, criticized YouTube for its preemptive punitive measure, invoking concerns about the implications of social media platforms exercising punitive powers absent legal proceedings. The matter raises critical questions about the balance between victim rights, fair trial, and the roles social media platforms play in shaping narratives and exercising judgments. There are broader societal and ethical implications, with concerns about the potential infringement of the principle of innocent until proven guilty. Despite the controversy, supporters of Brand, as well as his critics, advocate for a fair and just legal process, allowing the accusers to present their evidence in court.

Harvey Milk Is Celebrated for the Same Thing Russell Brand Is Hated for

One of the accusers, a woman identified as “Alice,” alleged that Brand, then 31, was emotionally abusive and controlling during their three-month relationship in 2006 when she was 16. Brand's fascination with her innocence allegedly became a concerning preoccupation, causing instant arousal when he learned she was a virgin.

Alice’s account portrays Brand as being exceedingly controlling and dismissive of her age, even giving her a pseudonym to use with her parents and disregarding her physical and emotional well-being. She claimed that Brand was obsessed with her youth, referring to her as “the child,” and that he forced himself on her several times, even to the point of her having to physically defend herself. Alice’s relationship with Brand reportedly ended abruptly when she found another woman in his bed, leaving her feeling humiliated. She also claims that Brand forced her to perform oral sex on him, and she had to "punch him really hard in the stomach to get him off."

Brand vehemently denies these accusations.

Alice, now in her 30s, has come forward with her story in the hope of raising awareness about the implications of age in sexual relationships. She advocates for raising the legal age of consent to 18, highlighting the inherent power imbalance in relationships between teenagers and adults in their thirties. Alice’s mother reportedly feels a profound sense of guilt for allowing the relationship, stressing the need for legal frameworks that can effectively protect young individuals from potential exploitation and abuse.

“My mum still feels like she failed me in some way in allowing this to happen, but she had no recourse at all,” Alice said. “It shouldn’t be legal for a 16-year-old to have a relationship with a man in their thirties. There should be something in place to protect children.”

Brand vehemently denies these accusations, asserting that all his relationships were consensual. He released a video where he stated, “Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks, are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.” He attributed the claims to a period in his life marked by promiscuity, but stressed that consent was always maintained.

This particular allegation has raised a lot of concern about celebrity men who regularly date teenage women who are under 18. People claim that Brand had no business dating a woman that young, especially when he was 31 years old. This is a sentiment that many people would agree with. It simply isn't appropriate for a man in his 30s to elicit a romantic relationship with a 16-year-old teen, no matter if the relationship is "approved" by the mother, which is allegedly what happened with Alice and Brand. This has been a common criticism thrown at male celebrities who have a history of dating teenagers when they are well over the legal age (in fact, they're usually in their 20s, 30s, or even older). Steven Tyler, Aerosmith lead singer, was bashed for dating a 16-year-old when he was 26, which he admitted in his memoir. Apparently, he even convinced the girl's mother to grant him guardianship over her. Similarly, Milo Ventimiglia was 29 years old when he started dating Hayden Panettiere, who was allegedly still 17 when they first started dating. There are many more stories like this in Hollywood.

It's understandable for people to be disturbed by these accounts. However, where is the same rage when famous figures like Harvey Milk do the same with young men? In fact, when you hear of older gay men dating teenage boys, it's never portrayed as predatory or inappropriate. Harvey Milk was a prominent gay rights activist and the first openly gay elected official in California, securing a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Born in 1930, Milk was a former Navy officer and a teacher before engaging in politics. He fervently advocated for LGBT rights, inspiring the community to live openly. His activism was foundational in the gay rights movement. In 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by a disgruntled former colleague.

In Milk's biography called The Mayor of Castro Street, it was made clear that he began a relationship with a new boyfriend who was 16 years old (and a runaway) when Milk was 33. "The sixteen-year-old [Jack] McKinley was looking for some kind of father figure," the excerpt says. "Within a few weeks, McKinley moved into Harvey Millk's Upper West Side apartment. They bought a dog they named Trick, a cat they called Trade, and settled into a middle-class domestic marriage."

Milk's relationship with McKinley was always lauded by the left as something romantic and sweet, a part of Milk's story that played a significant role in his career moving forward. It was never labeled as pedophilic, inappropriate, or predatory. And yet many straight male celebrities are accused of being those very things. How does that make any sense? When someone is a gay rights activist and plays a big role in promoting progressive politics, pretty much everything they do gets a pass, even if that same action is identified as immoral when anyone else does it.

Why Come after Russell Brand Now?

In Candace Owens' recent podcast episode, she highlights the credibility of one of the accusations brought against Brand. One of his accusers went to a rape crisis center within 24 hours. "So yes, these accusations are credible, and I just want to make that statement," Owens said. Despite the fact that we love who Brand is today, Brand wasn't the same person back then; he was a drug addict, sex addict, and leftist communist. It's not crazy to consider the idea that Brand might be guilty of assault in his past life that was full of degenerate behavior, as he has often admitted himself. However, two things can be true at once. These accusations could be credible, and we can also ask why they're choosing to come forward now, after all these years.

"Why did the media wait until Russell Brand was clean and sober and married and having his third child?" Owens wonders.

Now that Brand is speaking out against big government, the corrupt Covid narrative, and greedy politicians and globalists (and now that he's a sober family man), the media and Hollywood have chosen to expose all of his secrets. Owens says it seems as if they were protecting his secrets for a while just because he was either on their political team or, at the very least, wasn't a threat to them, but now that he has joined the other side, they're coming for him with a coordinated effort to take him down. "And that should bother you," Owens adds.

It should also bother us that a site like YouTube can block him from making any income off his page just because the media has blasted these accusations against him publicly. If they can come for Brand and rob him of opportunities to make a living, they can do the very same thing to the rest of us. Meanwhile, R. Kelly, an actual convicted rapist of minors, can still monetize his songs on the YouTube platform, as can rapper Cardi B, who admittedly drugged and stole from men when she was a stripper.

If these women really were sexually assaulted, they deserve justice—and Brand deserves a fair trial. But the problem here is that Brand is automatically considered guilty until proven innocent, simply because of his outspoken stance on politics and culture. This is what has infuriated so many bystanders, even if they're not necessarily fans of Brand and his content. All victims of sexual misconduct deserve the chance to take their assaulter through the legal system, but there's no denying that there's an unfair double standard placed on Brand that wouldn't even be an issue if he were still a progressive who supported the leftist agenda.

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