Vanessa Feltz Recalls Offensive Comments Made by Russell Brand on Chat Show Appearance
Vanessa Feltz recently spoke out about an offensive incident that occurred during a 2006 chat show appearance with comedian Russell Brand. She expressed her deep offense at Brand’s persistent jokes on air about sleeping with her daughters. The clip, from Brand’s MTV UK chat show “1 Leicester Square,” shows him repeatedly bringing up the issue and jokingly asking Feltz if he can have a sexual encounter with either her or her daughters. Feltz sternly told him to stop and reminded him that he would understand her perspective when he has his own daughters.
Reflecting on the incident, Feltz explained that she found herself in an incredibly awkward position, unsure of how to react. She questioned whether she should laugh along with the jokes or leave in protest, fearing she would be seen as a spoil-sport or a party-pooper. Feltz expressed her deep offense then and now at the notion of Brand jokingly stating that he wanted to have sex with her and her daughters.
Feltz acknowledged that she had known Brand for many years and admired his charisma and passion. However, she revealed her shock at learning about his numerous sexual encounters and assumed that all the encounters were consensual.
Investigations and Allegations Surrounding Russell Brand
This incident with Feltz was not the only controversial moment in Brand’s career. Two years later, in 2008, he was dropped as a BBC radio presenter after leaving an on-air voicemail for actor Andrew Sachs, suggesting he had sex with Sachs’ granddaughter. The incident sparked investigations into Brand’s behavior while working on various television programs, including allegations of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse. Brand has vehemently denied all accusations.
Following the recent accusations, the BBC, Channel 4, and Banijay UK have launched investigations into Brand’s conduct. Downing Street has urged broadcasters to transparently share the results of these investigations. Rishi Sunak’s spokesman addressed the seriousness of the allegations and emphasized the importance of addressing such issues with sensitivity. The Prime Minister has made it clear that there is no place for harassment, regardless of the setting.
Channel 4’s Response and Industry Commitments
Channel 4 has taken immediate action by removing content featuring Brand from its streaming service during the investigation. The broadcaster aims to remind production companies of its code of conduct to ensure safe and professional working environments. Banijay UK, which acquired Endemol, where Brand hosted “Big Brother” spin-off shows, has also launched an urgent internal investigation and encourages anyone affected by Brand’s behavior to come forward.
It is not only Channel 4 and Banijay UK that are scrutinizing their involvement with Brand. The BBC is now facing questions regarding its knowledge of the allegations and how they were handled at the time. The Culture, Media, and Sport Committee chairwoman, Caroline Dinenage, has expressed the committee’s intention to seek reassurances from the BBC, similarly to Channel 4. The committee aims to understand who knew what and when, as well as the extent of any previous reports and investigations.
Future Publishing Paused and The Importance of Speaking Up
In response to the allegations, Bluebird, the publisher of Russell Brand, announced that all future publishing with the comedian has been put on hold. This decision reflects the seriousness of the accusations and the need for a thorough investigation.
The recent wave of allegations against Russell Brand highlights the importance of speaking up and creating safe and inclusive environments within the entertainment industry. It is crucial for individuals to feel comfortable reporting any misconduct they experience or witness. These allegations serve as a reminder that no one should tolerate harassment, and appropriate action must be taken to address such behavior.