A joint investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches, The Times and The Sunday Times published late last week unveiled a series of allegations against actor Russell Brand, including incidents reported by members of crew on the Channel 4 programs, Big Brother’s Big Mouth, and Kings of Comedy. Both shows are produced by Endemol.
Among the allegations in the report was that someone had flagged Brand’s behavior during discussions on casting him for an upcoming series.
The solution that was offered, the woman charged, was that the company would take female staff off the crew. Russell Brand was not cast in any shows that year, although the report wasn't able to determine whether the warning had any impact on the casting decision.
Channel 4, the BBC and Banijay have all opened internal investigations to examine the allegations. Also, Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz has issued a note to the broadcaster’s suppliers, reinforcing its requirement the production companies follow Channel 4’s code of conduct.
Here is the text of the message in full:
I’m sure you will have heard the deeply troubling allegations reported by Dispatches and The Times/The Sunday Times on Saturday night.
We are appalled to learn of these and we and Banijay will be investigating further to try and understand who, if anyone, was made aware of Brand’s alleged behaviour, and what, if any, action was taken. We also want to hear from anyone else who was impacted by his alleged behaviour.
In the meantime I hope the ugly picture that emerges from the Dispatches film will redouble our commitment to ensuring safe working conditions for all those in our industry, one free of bullying, harassment or any form of abuse.
While the allegations relate to programmes made for Channel 4 between 2004 and 2007, I wanted to use this moment to reinforce the need for all our current production partners to follow our Supplier Code of Conduct and raise any concerns with us immediately during production. We also require all production companies to publish Channel 4’s Speak Up facility (or an approved alternative) providing those working on our productions with a confidential process to escalate concerns to Channel 4. We are here to help address any problems in a robust and appropriate manner.
We particularly want to hear from anyone else who was impacted by the alleged behaviour reported by Dispatches so please bring to our attention any historical allegations or concerns.
We take our responsibility to create a safe, respectful and professional industry very seriously and I’m sure you are equally committed to that principle.
Chief Content Officer
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