Russell Brand Snaps At “Snide” Reporter During Protest — WATCH VIDEO!
Russell Brand snapped at a reporter during a protest in London on Monday, after he was asked about living in a luxurious home while advocating against rising rents at an affordable living residence. Check out the video below.
Residents living in the New Era Estate in east London worry they’ll soon face eviction, thanks to a new management company. The previous owners had a deal with residents that ensured no rent increase of any kind until 2016, while the new U.S.-based owners reportedly plan to renovate the building and bring rents up to the market rate. Many of the tenants are fearful they won’t financially be able to stay in their homes if the new owners move forward with their plans.
Hundreds of residents and supporters joined together to march through local streets protesting the situation. Brand, who has often expressed his disdain for capitalism, joined the movement, and was being interview by Channel Four News reporter Paraic O’Brien when things turned sour. O’Brien wanted to know how much Brand was paying for his home, questioning whether the star was actually contributing to the housing crisis, as some argue that the “super-rich” are causing the rents to skyrocket.
Brand shot back that he didn’t own his home, and said, “I’m not interested in talking to you about my rent, mate. I’m here to support a very, very important campaign.” Brand went on to criticize O’Brien for trying to “reframe” the discussion, and said he would “completely deny” accusations that’s he’s partially to blame for the situation.
“I’m part of the solution. People coming together to amplify the voices of ordinary people, that’s precisely what’s needed,” argued Brand. He added, “Blessedly I can afford my rent, and I’m here to stand up for people who can’t.” A fellow protester joined the interview and said “thank God” that there were people like Brand fighting for their cause. Brand then fired at O’Brien, “Snides like you undermine it! You’re a snide!”
After the broadcast, O’Brien took to Twitter to explain his point of view and defend the interview. “Few thoughts re tonight’s #NewEraEstate report: Do I think that rich people aren’t entitled to campaign/care? Of course not,” he wrote. “Do I think I did justice to the #NewEraEstate campaign & bigger issue in 3mins of vaguely watchable TV? Yes.” He went on, “Is it my job to test tension between private circumstances & publicly held views of celebrities? Yes. Finally, don’t mean to sound defensive & glad of a debate. Housing, one of the big touchstone issues that we’re not talking about enough.”
The tense exchange, however, hasn’t sat well with Brand’s fans, who have apparently attacked O’Brien on Twitter. The reporter tweeted Tuesday, “Holy God. Reading my timeline from overnight. Looks like come the revolution, we ‘snides’ are totally f*#ked : )” For his part, Brand uploaded a 7-minute video giving his side of the story, and even lightheartedly mocked his “volatile” reaction, admitting he got overly emotional. Check out the videos below, and tell us what you think.