The latest celebrity to have his life and livelihood fundamentally disrupted due to anonymous and unproven allegations is comedian and actor Russell Brand.
Now, a number of companies including Burger King are halting all advertisements on Rumble, another video platform that, unlike YouTube, refuses to strip Brand of his earned income without evidence of his guilt.
The move sparked immediate backlash against the fast food chain and boycott threats.
— TheQuartering (@TheQuartering) September 23, 2023
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk pointed out that “Brand has not been convicted of a single crime” and accused Burger King of pulling its ads on Rumble “because the free speech platform refuses to play judge, jury, and executioner” in this case.
“They hate free speech and due process, and their food is poison anyways,” he said of the chain. “Stop eating it.”
Conservative pundit Dan Bongino also weighed in by panning Burger King’s decision in this matter and the brand in general.
“Burger King wants you to ‘have it your way,’” he wrote. “Who knew their ‘way’ was wokeism, censorship & cancel culture. Their burgers are s— any way. Spend your money wisely.”
Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski reacted harshly to a letter the company received from U.K. Member of Parliament Caroline Dinenage, who chairs the body’s committee on culture, media, and sport.
She asked the platform whether it “intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr. Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.”
Pavlovski shared a decidedly dim view of the suggestion, asserting: “We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so. We emphatically reject the UK Parliament’s demands.”
Following an initial statement denying the allegations, Brand returned to social media with a preview of his upcoming episodes, for which Rumble will be the “primary platform” used for publication.
“Obviously, it’s been an extraordinary and distressing week,” he said. “And I thank you very much for your support and for questioning the information that you’ve been presented with.”