Russell is branded a hypocrite - but maybe he just cares?
Tuesday 2nd December 2014 | Rob
'Don't ever ask Russell Brand how much his house costs' was the title of The Independent article that accused Brand of deceit and hypocrisy. Interviewed by Channel 4 News’ Paraic O’Brien, Brand received a gruelling interview that pushed beyond his personal realms. Talking to the media about his New Era campaign, it was clear Brand was shocked when O'Brien re-framed the debate and focussed on the comedian. Asking, 'How much are you paying for your place?', the reporter continued to question Brand on the matter, and only retreated when he got shouted down by a New Era campaigner.
Brand was out to support the New Era group, who have gained ground for people who feel alienated from the political world and demonstrated that collective power can give you a voice no matter what your background. The focus of this debate was on the New Era estate but O'Brien was keen to shift the spotlight back onto Brand and continue on the path of trendy scepticism towards the comedian. Brand believes he stands for the young voters of today and his intention is to give them a voice, and in some cases, he's achieved this. Reports like this are focussed on readership and Channel 4 News are after just this; it's fair to say that Brand is the victim here.
The Independent have captioned a GIF of Brand, seemingly pulling a resident of the New Era estate into the frame, but it's misleading. If you watch the whole footage, it's clear that the campaigner rushes to his defence, exclaiming 'you wouldn't see David Cameron coming down from his big house'. The fact that Russell Brand lives in a large London house is irrelevant, he came from a working class background through hard work and talent; at least he's using his resources with good intentions. To criticise Brand of being wealthy is ludicrous; to hand over his money and power would be pointless. His affluence puts him in a position to challenge issues like the condition of the New Era estate. 'Blessedly I can afford my rent and I’m prepared to stand up for people who can't.' A powerful and humbling statement from Brand that was omitted from the majority of reports.
Some believe Russell Brand is using his anti-establishment viewpoint to cash-in on publicity and book sales, but is it so hard to believe that he actually cares?