Russell Brand refused to tell London Channel 4’s Pariac O’Brien how much he pays for rent in an escalating interview that ended with the comedian calling him a “snide.”
Brand was confronted by O’Brien on the street during a demonstration in London that was organized by tenants of the New Era Estate.
They came together to protest against the 93 families who are at risk of being evicted.
After being challenged on the idea that wealthy property owners are responsible for the dramatic rise in the cost of living, Brand got testy with the reporter.
O’Brien: How much did you pay for your place?
Brand: It’s rented.
O’Brien: What kind of rent are you paying?
Brand: I’m not interested in talking to you about my rent, mate. I’m here to support a very, very important campaign. And you, as a member of the media, have an important duty to help to represent these people.
O’Brien: It’s still a point, isn’t it? The demand that the super rich are putting on the London property market. You are part of that problem, aren’t you?
Brand: Absolutely not. I would completely deny that. I’d say I’m part of the solution.
After being pressed on the issue, Brand called O’Brien a “snide.”
Relentless Twitter users began to criticize the comedian for his remarks. Brand was labeled a “champagne socialist” and a hypocrite.
The following day, here is what Brand had to say about the incident:
I shouldn’t be allowed on television, because I get so easily wound up. What does it matter to me? What have I got to lose? But I’m [a] like volatile person. I was a drug addict for a long time because I feel very, very strong feelings.
In spite of me having an emotional reaction, it was a wonderful day that shows what happens when a community comes together, supported by 300,000 people opposing government, media, ineffectual local councils and apathetic local councils. Victories can be won.