In 2018, Brand was booked as a judge on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, but he never made it past the first season after being the target of several jokes/accusations about being an alleged sexual predator. The unaired barbs came from fellow judge Katherine Ryan, and Deadline has confirmed through “multiple sources” that Brand is the unnamed comedian who Ryan was referring to during an interview last year.
“I – in front of loads of people, in the format of the show – said to this person’s face that they are a predator,” Ryan revealed in her 2022 appearance on Louis Theroux Interviews.
According to Deadline, Brand was “furious” about Ryan’s jokes that allegedly caused other comedians to pounce on the rumors that had been swirling for years. Brand reportedly demanded that he be “protected” from being roasted, which is kind of the whole point of the show:
The industry insiders said Fulwell 73 grew uncomfortable with the rumors swirling around Brand and his reluctance to be roasted gave the company an opportunity to drop him.
“Contract negotiations were made as tricky as possible, is the best way to put it,” said a source familiar with talks with Brand over Season 2. “In the end, it came down to the fact that it seemed like Russell didn’t have a good sense of humor. He didn’t feel he was fair game.”
Brand denied all of the allegations in a preemptive video where he admitted to being “very, very promiscuous,” but claimed that all of his sexual encounters were “absolutely, always consensual.”