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Russell Brand Calls Out Nazi Supporters, Unjustly Kicked Out Of Event

Hallie Roth |
September 11, 2013 | 10:45 a.m. PDT


At an after-show for the recent GQ Man of the Year Awards, actor and comedian Russell Brand thought nothing of making a comment about Hugo Boss, the event’s sponsor.

Brand had every right to state his opinion, especially since it's true. (Kafuffle, Wikimedia Commons)
Brand had every right to state his opinion, especially since it's true. (Kafuffle, Wikimedia Commons)

Brand is quoted as saying, "If anyone knows a bit about history and fashion, you know it was Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the Nazis.” Then, of course, given his crude sense of humor, he added:

“But they looked f***ing fantastic, let’s face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality."

Brand was later kicked out of the party by GQ's editor, Dylan Jones, who apparently stated that Brand's comments were “very offensive to Hugo Boss.” 

While Jones may have wanted to avoid a fiasco at the pristine GQ event, his attempt at avoiding a controversy does not give him the right to brush a belief aside. Yes, we all know that Brand can be somewhat brash and outlandish at times, and there may have been a better time and place for his opinion. Nevertheless, his opinion deserves respect, especially since the opinion is a truthful one at the core.

Many rumors have circulated regarding Hugo Boss’s involvement with the Nazi party. The truth is that during the time of the Nazi regime in Germany, Boss joined the Nazi party. He did it as a business tactic, because he knew the party would become a loyal client in need of uniforms. In this regard, his affiliation does not seem so horrific. However, according to The Daily Mail, Boss also felt that Hitler was the sole man who could help Germany’s economic problems. Many people denied doing business with the Nazis, but Boss had no problem with the affiliation. 

Hugo Boss was later punished as a Nazi supporter and died in 1948. 

Brand’s opinion is a bit ironically humorous and far-fetched, mentioning that the soldiers looked good while performing genocide, but Boss did have an affiliation with the party. And Brand did have a right to mention it at the awards. Brand did not induce the harm of others with his comment. In the articles, there is no mention of a mass uprising because of Brand’s words.

Perhaps he made an offensive comment at a private, classy gathering, but he had every right to say it.

I may be over-analyzing, but the idea of ignorance seems to come to mind when looking closely at this issue. The editor of GQ was, in fact, ignorant when he kicked Russell Brand out of the awards. He was ignorant of the sentiments of another person who may have felt personally insulted by an award ceremony sponsored by a Nazi supporter. 

Whether or not Brand did feel personally offended by Hugo Boss’s sponsorship is beyond the point. (Granted, Brand may not have inherent resentment for Nazi supporters, because he was spotted wearing a Hugo Boss suit in February, which seems rather hypocritical.) Anyone could have made a comment like Brand's at the awards. One cannot silence such a statement, especially a feeling about Nazi Germany and its history that tends to bring out deep-rooted emotions.


Reach Contributor Hallie Roth here.



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