“Subsequent to my jokes, the evening took a peculiar turn. Like the illusion of sophistication had been inadvertently disrupted by the exposure. It had the vibe of a wedding dinner where the best man’s speech had revealed the groom’s infidelity. With Hitler.”-Russell Brand
English comedian Russell Brand is one of the few remaining “hate-to-love” actors who many agree has a distinct and rare combination of high fashion sense, rugged good looks and comedic genius all backed by his English charm. It is this coveted combination that earned Brand the ” GQ Oracle Award” naming him as one of British GQ’s Best Men of the Year this past week. A high honor Brand was fortunate to win that was undoubtedly overshadowed by perhaps one of the most unfortunate acceptance speeches to date.
Award in hand, Russell Brand took the podium with his usual cheshire smile, weathered hair and his infamous foul mouth. Looking out over the impressive cast of fashion gurus and icons that fill the room, Brand began to express his gratitude by first sincerely expressing the insincerity of the award ceremony.
“That was really kind of you to be so sincere and sweet, especially in this context, F***ing Hell cause this is not designed for sincerity. We will struggle if we bring sincerity into this situation. Thank you for the “Oracle Award” which sounds like something that has recently been made up.”
Met with the response of scattered and muffled laughter it was apparent to Russell that he hadn’t quite made his ill timed humorous point. Brand took aim at the previous award winner and recipient speech given by the Mayor of London and fashion enthusiast Boris Johnson who shared light on the chemical warfare in Syria.
“GQ can now stand for Genocide Quips…and I mention that only to make this next comment lighter. If any of you know anything about history and fashion you’ll know that Hugo Boss made the uniforms for the Nazi’s. They did have flaws but they did look F***ing fantastic.”
Surprisingly, Hugo Boss (the GQ Awards main sponsor), was none to impressed with Brand’s attempt at humor. Immediately following his speech he was ejected from the award ceremony and escorted off of the premise. With his clear intent misconstrued the comedian/actor expressed his own defense to the UK Guardian Newspaper in hopes of reconciling his actions.
“I could see the room dividing as I spoke. I could hear the laughter of some and louder still silence of others. I realized that for some people this was regarded as an event with import. The magazine, the sponsors and some of those in attendance saw it as a kind of ceremony that warranted respect. In effect, it is a corporate ritual, an alliance between a media organization, GQ, and a commercial entity, Hugo Boss. What dawned on me as the night went on is that even in apparently frivolous conditions the establishment asserts control, and won’t tolerate having that assertion challenged, even flippantly, by that most beautifully adept tool: comedy. The jokes about Hugo Boss were not intended to herald a campaign to destroy them.”
Russell Brand Speaks Nazis at GQ Awards