You’ll be disappointed to hear that Russell Brand is back.
Despite “quitting” the internet last year to “think” and “learn”, Brand has revived his web series “The Trews” – and started by taking aim at Donald Trump’s treatment of women.
The Trews is back – it's Trump, of course https://t.co/HReIlxJIfm
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) October 12, 2016
The irony of one serial misogynist berating another is apparently lost on Brand.
Though he plays the reformed bad-boy well (indeed, so well he’s apparently managed to convince himself), most of us have not forgotten his history of treating women like crap.
Most famously, there was the time he sent a stream of voicemails, live on BBC radio, to actor Andrew Sachs, bragging about how he had “fucked” Sach’s granddaughter – a debacle from which the Sachs family has never recovered.
In spite of his apologies and puppy-dog eyes, a subsequent Vanity Fair profile illustrated how utterly hollow his sense of self-awareness and acceptance of responsibility is.
Russell Brand having a pop at Trump, is he? Dodgy misogynists uniting.
— Stephen Graham (@PlopGazette) October 13, 2016
“As for the misogyny thing,” Brand said, “I have lived a life and had a frame of cultural references that make that charge quite legitimate.”
“But as a person who’s trying to live a decent, spiritual life, misogyny is not part of my current palette of behaviours […] I’m talking about disavowing previous lives, previous beliefs, previous behaviours.” [Incidentally, this is Trump’s defence, too]
He refuses to take responsibility for his actions – “the misogyny thing” – which, Vanity Fair imparts, span from a teenage sex-tourism jaunt through the Far East to his abandoned marriage to Katy Perry.
Russell doesn’t seem to have reached a sufficient level of emotional maturity to realise that whilst he can easily “disavow” his “not current” behaviours, their effect on other people cannot so easily be ignored.
My abiding memory of Brand is being backstage at a rock festival when I was 16 with a group of girlfriends.
We were in the queue for the portaloos when Russell stumbled up to us, leapt on one of my friends and snogged her on the mouth. She was 15 and found it both shocking and funny. We all agreed he was an idiot and thought no more of it.
But he’s not just an idiot, and it’s not just banter.
One of Brand’s ex-girlfriends gave a much deeper account of his behaviour towards women. In a 2015 interview with the Mail on Sunday, Jordan Martin called him “controlling”, manipulative” and “cruel”.
Jordan Martin said that Brand bullied and taunted her for wanting children, bragged about having sex with strangers, and entertained other women in his bedroom whilst she was in the next room.
Like Trump, Brand made his own move from reality TV to politics – which ended with him as a national laughing stock.
Why did he bother? Here’s what Martin had to say: “He’s conquered showbusiness and now politics has given Russell a powerful platform from which to attract more and more fans – because ultimately what he cares about most is himself and world domination.”
Brand would like to see himself at the opposite end of the spectrum to Trump, but they really aren’t that different.
Stupid hair? Tick. Unfathomably managed to dupe his way in to the political arena despite being dangerously ill-informed about policy? Tick. History of treating women like crap? Tick.
They are as abhorrent as each other.