Having been a fan of Russell Brands from about 13 years old, I’ve watched his journey through the past 6 years and feel immensely proud of who he is now. He speaks out about things now that a majority of society has a problem with, he’s began to speak for people who have struggled to have a voice, who have felt reluctant to feel like they have a right to say anything about the subjects he has begun to target.
From his work to change societies views of addicts to now looking at the political world many are heavily dissatisfied with, he is beginning to speak out and slowly change the way some people are seeing the world we live in. Though the main issue he now faces whilst trying to do this is being brushed off due to his past, as an addict himself, whether that is drugs, sex or now meditation, as a comedian who has had more than his fair share of large scale media blunders and a large amount of criticism for his conduct. People see what he is saying now and merely ignore his speeches because of the things he has done in the past, which, if people in this society genuinely feel is an acceptable thing to do, they may want to look closer at the hidden away past and present personal lives of their own beloved idols.
I particularly admired the efforts of his in trying to change the way addiction was viewed, rather than being something that people developed, he began work to show that it was a legitimate illness that people were born with, which needed far more funding to be able to help those who have been struggling with the illness and seen their lives devastated by it. For him to have shown that when an addict moves away from one addiction, they will need to find something else to satisfy their needs.
I think society needs to be more adaptive to things like this, to ignore to discard valid points because of what they have done in the past is something which will generally be a hindrance to any social development?
Having watched multiple shows related to Russells interview on the subject with Jeremy Paxman including Gogglebox on Channel 4 which shows the reaction of the public from various areas to things being shown on TV, I found that the audience was split on the issue, some agreed with him and acknowledged that his points were valid, stating that something did need to be done, others shunned him for no reasons other than his past and the fact he’s a comedian.
The interview itself sparked a huge row in the media and amongst the public alike, with even Nick Clegg supposedly criticising Jeremy Paxman for his ‘sneering’ conduct with Russell.
After his work with addicts, it will be interesting to watch what comes of the comedians statements during the interview and in his article.