At the recent GQ Awards dinner co-hosted in London by fashion giant Hugo Boss and GQ magazine, comedian Russell Brand joked that the fashion company supplied uniforms to the Nazis during WWII.
GQ was so upset over the slap at one of its biggest advertisers that it scrubbed all mentions of Brand from its website.
During the September 3 awards dinner, Brand, an iconoclast well known for stirring up trouble at every opportunity, slammed London Mayor Boris Johnson for “making light” of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, joked that GQ now stood for “genocide quips,” and then went after Hugo Boss, linking them to the Nazis of WWII.
Quipped Brand, “…if any of you know a little bit about history and fashion, you’ll know that Hugo Boss made the uniforms for the Nazis. And the Nazis did have flaws. But they did look f**king fantastic, let’s face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality.”
Hugo Boss reportedly paid upwards to £250,000 to co-host the awards dinner only to have Brand cast them in the with Nazis.
GQ was not amused, and so it sent all mentions of Brand down the Internet memory hole despite that the magazine had awarded him the “Oracle Of The Year” award at that very dinner.
The website Vocativ also reports that GQ removed Brand from its print magazine, too.
“The only evidence of Brand that remains on the GQ website,” Vocativ says, “is a list of winners from the night’s liveblog, but if you click on Brand’s name, it goes to a 404: File Not Found.”
It is certainly true that Hugo Boss founder, Hugo Boss himself, was an admitted Nazi and did supply some of the uniforms to the German Army. It is apparently not true that Boss and his company designed the uniforms. The company only manufactured them.
The comedian explained himself in a Sept. 13 article at the UK Guardian website.
“The jokes about Hugo Boss were not intended to herald a campaign to destroy them. They’re not Monsanto or Halliburton, the contemporary corporate allies of modern-day fascism; they are, I thought, an irrelevant menswear supplier with a double-dodgy history,” Brand wrote.
So, to recap, GQ invited a comedian well-known for stirring trouble to a dinner hosted by one of its biggest advertisers and, after that same comedian stirred some trouble, ended up scrubbing all mentions of him from the magazine and website after a pointed joke about Nazis aimed at that big advertiser.