When or even whether police arrest Russell Brand for the sexual assaults of which he is accused will be less interesting than what’s already happened to him, and what the reaction to the accusations says about his accusers. Brand has yet not been charged, let alone convicted, but tour dates have been canceled and YouTube has demonetized his popular 6.7-million subscriber channel [Russell Brand shows postponed as police look into 2003 claim, George Bowden, BBC, September 18, 2023; YouTube suspends Russell Brand from making money off the streaming site after sex assault claims, by Jill Lawless, Associated Press, September 19, 2023]. That’s typical of Cancel Culture Moral Panics, as so many conservatives and even now some Leftists know. But the reaction among the media and entertainers was also typical, and clear evidence they also share the Dark Triad traits (Psychopathology, Narcissism, Machiavellianism) so evident in Brand—even though this may well not have become so apparent had he not challenged their most sacred dogmas.
Let’s begin by stipulating that Brand might be as crazy as most Leftists are, something his Wikipedia biography clearly shows. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder and suffered from bulimia. When Brand was 16, his father took him to Thailand and promptly hired three prostitutes; two for himself, and one for young Russell. Brand was also a self-confessed porn addict who now rails against the baleful effects of watching it:
Accusations of sexual misbehavior go back to 2006, so the four-year investigation by The Times and the Leftist Channel 4 Dispatches that detailed accusations of sexual assault are hardly a surprise. And they strongly suggest that he is a manifestly dreadful man.
Briefly married to singer Katy (I Kissed A Girl) Perry, Brand was, until recently, an active Woke campaigner. He instructed the British people to “vote Labour” and dismissed Nigel Farage, the man who brought about Brexit, to his face as a “pound shop [British for dollar store] Enoch Powell” [Russell Brand blasts Nigel Farage as ‘pound shop Enoch Powell,’ ITV, December 12, 2014]. British blogger Guido Fawkes summarized Brand’s career. In 2013, Brand guest-edited the Leftist New Statesman magazine, focusing the edition on the subject of “revolution.” Brand wrote for the Leftist newspaper The Guardian for 10 years, up to 2015, where he campaigned for the usual Leftist causes. Also in 2015, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband appeared on Brand’s podcast and Brand openly campaigned for the Labour Party. And Owen Jones, a prominent Woke commentator in the UK, coauthored a book with Brand [Brand, Order-Order.com, September 19, 2023].
So the British Left bears responsibility for “bigging up” this obvious Narcissist—something he admits, by the way, calling himself a “sex Narcissist” [Russell Brand in his own words, by Matt Strudwick, Daily Mail, September 18, 2023].
Studies show that actors are typically very high in Narcissistic traits that predict the kind of behavior of which Brand is accused [Narcissistic Tendencies Among Actors, by Michael Duffner et al., Social Psychology and Personality Society, November 2014]. He is accused of having sexually assaulted four women between 2006 and 2013, including raping a woman against a wall in Los Angeles. He’s also accused of grooming and abusing a 16-year-old schoolgirl while he was in his early 30s [Did Russell Brand know this was all coming? by Martin Robinson, Daily Mail, September 19, 2023]. That’s not all, but you get the idea.
Yet if Brand’s Narcissism would predict his behavior, so also does it predict the behavior of his critics, who have the same Dark Triad traits.
The most obvious example: British-Canadian comedienne Katherine Ryan. She claims she knew about serious allegations against Brand and even called him a “sexual predator” to his face during the filming of a show on which they appeared:
Brand was booked as a judge on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle in 2018, but only lasted a single season on the series after he himself was roasted on-camera over allegations he had sexually assaulted women. He strongly denies criminal wrongdoing.
Three sources close to the Fulwell 73 production said Roast Battle judge Katherine Ryan turned the heat on Brand a number of times during filming. Her allegations did not make the final edit. …
In an appearance on BBC series Louis Theroux Interviews ... last year, Ryan revealed that she confronted her unnamed co-star: “I—in front of loads of people, in the format of the show—said to this person’s face that they are a predator.”
Deadline has confirmed with multiple sources that she was referring to Brand and Roast Battle. Ryan told Theroux that she did not name her colleague because it was a “litigious minefield” and she had not personally been assaulted by Brand.
One person familiar with the matter said Brand was “absolutely furious” at being targeted by Ryan.
[Revealed: Russell Brand Exited Comedy Central’s ‘Roast Battle’ After Facing Sexual Predator Claims On-Camera, by Jake Kanter, Deadline, September 18, 2023]
Ryan may well be braver than some in confronting Brand. But she must, surely, have known that what she said would be cut from the broadcast. The truly courageous thing to do would have been to go public. But Dark Triad traits appear to have stopped her. Narcissists desire acclaim and would avoid attacking a popular figure in public, while their Machiavellian side would intensify concern over the consequences for their own careers.
Next, we have the case of Leftist journalist Zoe Williams [Tweet her] of The Guardian, who portrays herself as a “victim” of a “culture” that promoted Brand, although she and others like her collected paychecks for actively participating in that “culture.” “Victim-signaling” is associated with the Dark Triad traits [Signaling Virtuous Victimhood as Indicators of Dark Triad Personalities, by E. Ok et al., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2021]. Thus, she condemns the sexist culture of “the noughties” [1990s] that allowed Brand to come to prominence, despite being part of that culture as a prominent journalist [The nasty noughties: Russell Brand and the era of sadistic tabloid misogyny, by Zoe Williams, The Guardian, September 18, 2023].
Nothing could be more self-serving, or evidence of the hunger for power, than condemning one’s former-self when useful or convenient. Williams acts as if the gods send “cultures” from above like thunderbolts, and that such “cultures” are not the manifestation of group behavior.
I suspect that some Leftists are condemning Brand with particular fervor because they’re projecting. They engaged in the same or similar behavior, or had inappropriate thoughts of doing the same.
Then we have British journalist Andrew Pierce [Tweet him]. His extreme reaction seems to exemplify Narcissism, too. On an episode of GB News, Andrew Pierce furiously lambasted cohost Beverly Turner, who had defended Brand as a “hero” attacked by “Establishment Media.”
“That is shameful,” Pierce said:
You have dismissed in one tweet a four-year investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4, contemptuously, the mainstream media.
[Andrew Pierce and Bev Turner continue their spat over Russell Brand scandal off air, by Arthur Parashar, Daily Mail, September 19, 2023]
Turner replied that she “had spoken to several sources close to Brand, close to The Times. … I was confident that there is no smoking gun in this regard.”
By defending Brand, I suspect, Turner was challenging Pierce’s pose of moral superiority for attacking Brand. Maybe Turner punctured Pierce’s positive sense of self by confronting him with parts of himself he was projecting onto Brand. Or perhaps Pierce felt stupid. Having been taken in by Brand, Pierce angrily reacted against those who opposed the media mob and cautiously defended Brand.
In an industry in which a significant proportion of men are likely to be, at the very least, taking advantage of star-struck young girls (or boys!), nobody attacked Brand in 2011. They do so now, so the conspiracy theory goes, because Brand questioned Establishment dogmas and narratives on his YouTube channel, most notably about COVID [Conspiracy theories swirl around Russell Brand allegations, by Jessica Murray, The Guardian, September 17, 2023].
And that might be part of it. He has committed a kind of heresy: betrayed the group of which he was part. According to anthropologist Pascal Boyer, we tend to respond far more vehemently to traitors than to simple enemies, because we feel that traitors have taken advantage of us [Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought, by Pascal Boyer, 2001].
But I think the simplest explanation is that by becoming less mainstream, Brand lost power, making it easier to go after him.
Russell Brand on Real Time with Bill Maher - conspiracy theory or... pic.twitter.com/uRDla2zRvh— Camus (@newstart_2024) October 15, 2023
But they are untouchable—for now.
Edward Dutton (email him | Tweet him) is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Asbiro University, Łódź, Poland. You can see him on his Jolly Heretic video channels on YouTube and Bitchute. His books are available on his home page here.