Channel 4 Boss Apologizes for Not Investigating 2009 Allegation Against Russell Brand

Channel 4, the British network that played a significant role in Russell Brand’s early career, has conducted an internal investigation into allegations against the actor and TV host, revealing a concerning oversight in handling a 2009 allegation.

The investigation, which followed the airing of a Channel 4 Dispatches program on September 16, 2023, aimed to determine whether the network’s staff was aware of “deeply troubling allegations” against Brand before they were publicly disclosed. The findings of the investigation, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter, indicated that there was no evidence to suggest that Channel 4 employees were aware of the allegations contained in the Dispatches program about Brand’s behavior while he was a presenter on Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Kings of Comedy between 2004 and 2007.

Channel 4 Boss Apologizes for Not Investigating 2009 Allegation Against Russell Brand

The Dispatches program, which was a result of a joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times, and Channel 4 Dispatches, highlighted four women who came forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse against Brand. These allegations spanned from 2006 to 2013, during which Brand was a BBC presenter and acting in Hollywood films. The program also detailed Brand’s controlling, abusive, and predatory behavior, which he has vehemently denied.

Despite the thorough investigation, Channel 4’s report found that there was no written or corroborated evidence to show that suspicions of serious allegations about Brand’s behavior were held within the channel before the Dispatches program was broadcast. The report also noted that no record was found of concerns being raised within Channel 4, or in public, at the time of Brand’s casting in the Celebrity Bake Off Stand Up to Cancer special or after its broadcast in March 2019.

However, the investigation did reveal that a former Channel 4 employee made a “serious and concerning allegation” about Brand in 2009. This allegation was not brought to the attention of senior management nor investigated as it should have been. In response to this finding, Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, issued an apology to the individual who made the allegation, acknowledging the breakdown in the process and the distress it caused.

Channel 4 Boss Apologizes for Not Investigating 2009 Allegation Against Russell Brand
Channel 4 Boss Apologizes for Not Investigating 2009 Allegation Against Russell Brand

Mahon emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations and expressed regret for the industry’s past tolerance of repugnant behaviors. He also highlighted Channel 4’s commitment to creating an environment where any employee or person working on a Channel 4-commissioned show feels safe and where processes are in place for investigation and appropriate action to be taken.

The investigation into Brand’s alleged misconduct has sparked a broader conversation about the industry’s handling of such allegations and the need for more rigorous investigations and accountability. Channel 4’s findings underscore the importance of taking allegations seriously and ensuring that they are thoroughly investigated to protect the well-being of all involved.

The presenter has been accused of carrying out rapes, indecent assaults and emotional abuse at the height of his fame between 2006 and 2013

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