On Saturday (16 September), actor Brand was accused of sexually assaulting four women between 2006 and 2013. The allegations were made in a joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.
Brand has vehemently denied the allegations, insisting that his prior relationships have been “absolutely always consensual”.
Scottish performer Sloss featured in both the Dispatches documentary and The Times’ report, where he said that he’d first heard rumours of Brand’s alleged behaviour more than 10 years ago.
The 33-year-old said that female comics had set up online groups to warn each other about men to avoid in the comedy industry.
“I know for many, many years that women have been warning each other about Russell,” he said. “I know there are comedians who have made references in jokes to Russell’s alleged crimes and have either been asked or told not to do those jokes any more.”
In response to his involvement in the report, fans referred to Sloss as a “rare actual ally” in the comedy industry.
Many shared a clip taken from his 2019 HBO special X, in which Sloss discusses the importance of speaking out about sexual assault.
At the end of the special, Sloss talks about an incident in which his female friend was raped by another friend of his. The assault does not relate to the allegations made against Brand.
“I knew this man for eight years and he f***ing did it,” Sloss said. “There are monsters amongst us and they look like us.”
Sloss then said that men have to “get involved” and actively challenge their friends on misogynistic behaviour.
“Don’t make the same mistake that I did for years, which was just sitting back and being like, ‘Well, I’m not part of the problem, therefore I must be part of the solution’ because that’s just not how this f***ing s*** works,” he said.
“I believe and deep down I know that most men are good, of course, we are. But when one in 10 men are s*** and the other nine do nothing, they might as well not f***ing be there. Being good on the inside counts for absolutely f*** all. You have to actively do good and get involved.”
In the clip, Sloss continued: “Instead of having this hero complex and being like ‘I’m going to beat up a rapist’ – f***ing prevent one, stop one. I know it can be done because I know how I f***ing failed at it.
“Because if I’m being 100 per cent honest with myself, were there signs in my friend’s behaviour over the years towards women that I ignored? The answer is yes, and then he raped my friend, and that’s on me until the day I die.”
Sloss began performing comedy as a teenager and was mentored by Frankie Boyle during his first Edinburgh Fringe run aged 17.
At 19, the Fife comic became the youngest comedians to perform a solo season in London’s West End. He has two Netflix specials, titled Dark and Jigsaw, and has performed on US chat shows such as Conan.
Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland, or visit their website at www.rapecrisis.org.uk.
If you are in the US, you can call Rainn on 800-656-HOPE (4673)