EXCLUSIVE: Acast removes ads on Russell Brand’s Luminary podcast following allegations

Disgraced comedian’s YouTube channel was also demonetised

Acast has turned off all ads on Luminary’s original podcast series Under the Skin with Russel Brand less than two weeks after signing an ad sales and distribution partnership with the podcast subscription network, following serious allegations that were made against him last weekend. 

On Saturday, Channel 4 released a bombshell documentary titled Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, as part of a joint investigation between current affairs programme Dispatches, The Times, and The Sunday Times, in which three women came forward about their relationships with Brand. The testimony included claims of rape and sexual assault, and has prompted widespread condemnation of the former comedian.

Under the Skin is one of six original Luminary podcasts that were part of an ad sales and distribution deal between Acast and Luminary, which allows Acast to distribute the originals across all major podcast platforms and monetise them through its ad marketplace. 

A spokesperson from Acast told PodPod that “Acast immediately turned off ads on Russell Brand's Luminary podcast following news of the recent allegations against him”. PodPod has reached out to Luminary to confirm if the show will continue to be in production going forward. 

Acast’s decision comes amidst news that YouTube has demonetised Brand’s YouTube channels, preventing him from earning ad revenue from his highly-viewed videos. Brand was also dropped by his management company Tavistock Wood following the investigation, and the agency said in a statement that it had “terminated all professional ties to Brand”. 

Following the release of the documentary, a video of a live recording from Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast in 2013 has resurfaced, featuring Brand joking about raping a woman on stage during an interview with Herring. The video has since been deleted and can no longer be found on Herring’s YouTube channel.