A Scottish comic is making headlines after he was the “only comedian” to speak on the record about the allegations of rape and sexual assault leveled against fellow comedian and actor Russell Brand.
Accusations that Brand sexually assaulted five women between 2006 and 2013 came to light at the weekend after a joint year-long investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches and The Times. Brand, 48, vehemently denies the allegations and no criminal charges have been laid.
In a nearly three-minute video, which was shared with his 11 million X followers and 6.5 million YouTube subscribers, Brand insisted any encounters during his “promiscuous” period were “consensual” and that he was being targeted in a “co-ordinated media attack”.
As part of the Dispatches program, Scottish stand-up comedian Daniel Sloss appeared to support the women making the allegations.
Sloss was presented as the “only one” of the comics and agents contacted by the journalists for the film who was “prepared to speak on camera” about the allegations against Brand.
The 33-year-old said he heard “many stories” about Brand’s alleged behavior while working the comedy circuit more than 10 years ago.
“It wasn’t just coming from one person or one group of people, it was different incidents over different years and of varying degrees of severity,” Sloss said in the film.
He said he knew female comedians had set up group chats to warn each other about men “to avoid” in the industry.
“I know for many, many years that women have been warning each other about Russell.”
Journalists from the Dispatches team said they had seen messages from a WhatsApp group that discussed Brand.
“I know there are comedians who have made references in jokes to (Brand’s behavior) and have either been asked or told not to do those jokes any more,” Sloss added.
“Hearing that is intimidating, it’s scary, you don’t know where these people are coming from and how high up it goes.”
Sloss said he believed people in “high positions of authority” should have done more about the allegations and rumours circulating about Brand.
“Questions that should’ve been asked about Russell before he was employed for certain things, I do not believe they were asked,” he said.
“You do look at people who are in high positions of authority in this industry and think to yourself, well, there is more you could have done.”
Since appearing in the documentary, Sloss has been described as a “rare actual ally” in the comedy industry.
Australian comedian Rose Callaghan wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that she appreciated Sloss for speaking out when “plenty of other men” remained silent.
“Without making this whole thing about celebrating a dude, I just think it’s cool he did that because no one would have questioned it if he said nothing,” she added.
Meanwhile British comedian Eleanor Conway posted a video to TikTok saying the “most surprising thing about that Russell Brand documentary wasn’t Russell Brand, it was Daniel Sloss”.
“He came out and supported women in this documentary, put his head out on the line. That man is a successful comic, he does not need to put himself out there and he did so and he supported women and he called Brand out.”
She said Sloss speaking out highlighted the lack of men willing to do the same, which is why it was so “unusual”.
“I’m like should it be unusual though? A man calling out another man?
“Men not calling out poor behavior is another way that men display their low standards towards women.”
Many commented on Conway’s video, saying they were not surprised that Sloss spoke in the documentary.
“Anyone who’s followed his career isn’t surprised by this at all. Daniel Sloss is one of the few comics I’d trust my drink around,” one user commented.
“Having watched Daniel Sloss for years, nothing about him coming forward surprised me,” another wrote. “The bar is low, but he is one of the few that stands above it.”
Fans also mentioned the clip from Sloss’ 2019 HBO special X, where he calls out men who do not speak out about sexual assault.
At the end of the special, Sloss talks about an incident in which he “failed” to protect his female friend from being raped by a mutual male friend. That incident is unrelated to allegations made against Brand.
“I knew this man for eight years and he f***ing did it,” Sloss says in the clip, before calling on men to “get involved” and actively challenge misogynistic behavior.
“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 … works,” he added.
“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.”
Sloss called on men to give up their “hero complex” and act after a rape, but instead work to “stop one” from happening.
“I know it can be done because I know how I f***ing failed at it,” he said.
“Because if I’m being 100 per cent honest with myself, were there signs in my friend’s behavior 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.”