Russell Brand made headlines last week after being kicked out of a GQ award show party for making a joke about event sponsor Hugo Boss' connection to the Nazis. In a slightly rambling op-ed for the Guardian, Brand defends what he calls "a daft joke by a daft comic at a daft event." He was just pointing out that "it's barmy that Hugo Boss can trade under the same name they flogged uniforms to the Nazis under and the ludicrous necessity for an event such as this one to banish such a lurid piece of information from our collective consciousness."
After his speech, the room—which was filled with politicians—split in two, writes Brand: those who, like him, thought the event was "a laugh," and those who "saw it as a kind of ceremony that warranted respect." A former newspaper editor accepting an award had a go at Brand for his 2008 prank calls, implying that "the calls were as bad as the Holocaust." "The jokes about Hugo Boss were not intended to herald a campaign to destroy them. They're not Monsanto or Halliburton, the contemporary corporate allies of modern-day fascism," he writes. However, he notes, the reaction to his joke that night showed "how power structures preserve their agenda, even in a chintzy microcosm." Click through to read Brand's full column.