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The Open Secret About Russell Brand Was Not Very Secret

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | September 19, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | September 19, 2023 |


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My knowledge of Russell Brand’s career is fairly limited because most of his work, outside of a few years when he was a Hollywood star, was in Britain. I knew Arthur (terrible*), Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, and Rock of Ages, plus the fact that he was married to Katy Perry and seemed like a huge prat.

(From my 2011 review of Arthur: “But Arthur does something even more audacious. It goes for broke. This spirited little remake of an 80’s Dudley Moore film fearlessly endeavors to be the first comedy of 2011 without a shred of comedic value. It is completely humorless! There’s not a funny moment in the entire film. Arthur has the gritty audacity to entirely subvert the comedy genre by removing precisely what it is that makes a comedy a comedy, namely moments, scenes, lines, situations, or facial expressions that might elicit laughter. How daring! How bold! How adventurous!)
But even still, one hates to judge a book by its cover, but Russell Brand’s book jacket screamed, “I am a sexual predator!” The news that he actually is a sexual predator was about as surprising as realizing that Men at Work, the band that sings “Land from Down Under,” is from Australia. It’s right there in the title.

And yet, I did not know there was so much evidence of Russell Brand’s predatory behavior right there out in the open. I did not know—nor did most people—that Russell Brand exited a British version of Comedy Central’s Roast Battle because he did not appreciate that comedian Katherine Ryan repeatedly made jokes about Brand’s predatory behavior during the roasts (jokes that did not make it to air). Nor did I know that Katherine Ryan said just last year in a resurfaced clip that it was an open secret that a British male comedian was a “sexual predator” (the comedian was Brand, and it probably would not have been difficult to figure that out with a little investigating).

Everyone in the UK apparently knew:

We should have known in the U.S. too. Here’s an interview with Katherine McPhee on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon from a decade ago where Jimmy Fallon does a lousy job protecting his guest from the obviously predatory behavior of Brand.

I’m never surprised anymore to learn about bad dudes, but I will say I’m surprised that it took this long for Brand to be outed. I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose, because until recently he had the establishment behind him.

In the meantime, Brand’s book deal has been paused, and his tour postponed. He’s snowed enough willfully delusional supporters, however, that I suspect he’ll be quietly selling out “anti-establishment” venues again in no time.