Channel 4 Asks Producers To Report “Historical Allegations” About Russell Brand

EXCLUSIVE: Channel 4 has asked third-party production companies to report “historical allegations” about Russell Brand after he was accused of raping and sexually assaulting women.

In an email seen by Deadline, Chief Content Officer Ian Katz said Channel 4 wanted to hear from anyone impacted by Brand, urging producers to “bring to our attention any historical allegations or concerns.”

The call for evidence follows The Times, Sunday Times, and Channel 4 reporting allegations that Brand sexually assaulted four women at the height of his fame. Brand vehemently denies the claims and has said all of his relationships were consensual.

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Katz said he was “appalled” by the accusations against Brand, saying that the Dispatches investigation — which he ultimately commissioned — paints an “ugly picture” that means Channel 4 must “redouble our commitment to ensuring safe working conditions for all those in our industry.”

The Times newspapers and Dispatches reporting revealed questions about Brand’s conduct on Big Brother, which he helped present for Channel 4 in the noughties.

Brand has been accused of flashing his penis at a runner and pursuing female audience members for sex while working on EFourum and Big Brother’s Big Mouth, which were produced by Banijay-owned Endemol for Channel 4.

Banijay has launched an “urgent” investigation into the claims. In a statement on Sunday, the super-producer said: “We also encourage anybody who feels that they were affected by Brand’s behaviour while working on these productions to contact us in confidence.”

The Channel 4 email also came as broadcasting union Bectu took the “unusual step” of writing to the producer trade body calling on indies to “overhaul internal processes for handling sexual harassment complaints.” Bectu’s Philippa Childs urged Pact to “undertake in consultation with unions” steps “to ensure that the workforce’s concerns are heard and properly addressed.”

Brand’s representatives have not responded to repeated requests for comment. Brand published a video across his social media channels in which he preemptively denied the “litany” of allegations about his criminal behavior. “The relationships that I had were absolutely always consensual,” he said. “I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent. And I’m being transparent about it now.”

Katz’s full email is below:

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.

Kind regards,

Ian Katz
Chief Content Officer
Channel 4

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