He's a Hollywood bad boy and isn't shy about expressing his opinion on everything from the Charlie Hebdo attack to corporate greed and spirituality. But for the latest episode of British actor Russell Brand's comedy commentary video series, he chose the hot topic of Bruce Jenner, whose face was photoshopped by a gossip magazine to appear more feminine.
Friday's edition of The Trews, Brand's YouTube series that combines truth and news, asked the question, "Bruce Jenner's Gender Identity: What Should We Think?"
The topic was prompted by last week's evidently heavily doctored -- and widely criticized -- cover photo of Jenner on InTouch Weekly. The article in the magazine, quoting a source, falsely claimed Jenner "wants to go big and come out as a transwoman on the cover of The Advocate, the ultimate LGBT magazine."
Brand, dressed casually with his hair in a ponytail and looking like a friend who just decided to Skype in, recorded the video from his bed with his laptop on his lap. He first took aim at TMZ's mocking coverage of Jenner's reported "transformation," showing clips highlighting Jenner's long, highlighted hair and what TMZ implied was evidence of hormonal changes, such as breast development. "What the hell is going on with Bruce Jenner?" asks one of the TMZ staff to his colleagues. "He looks like he has boobs."
Brand suggested watching TMZ was like watching "
Blade Runner or some dystopian thing, like when you see a bit of telly in a film [set in] the future."
"It's such a celebration of the worst aspects of human values," Brand said of TMZ. "What is the energy behind TMZ? What is it they're trying to do?"
And it's not just TMZ. Brand showed clips of other Hollywood gossip shows mocking Jenner, including one soliciting opinions from viewers.
"Do you think Bruce wants to be a woman? Tweet us @hollyscoop and let us know."
"What this does," Brand told his viewers, "is that it sanctions people being judgmental and cruel toward transgender folk. This is the mainstream media."
And Brand said it's influencing transphobia.
"So when people see someone walking in the street who's transgender, they ask themselves, 'What's my opinion on people who are transgender again? It's to point and judge.'"
Brand concluded his eight and a half minute rant by directing his viewers who want to learn more about transgender issues to GLAAD's website, The Angels, an online forum in the U.K., and to Jeffrey Tambor, who Brand noted dedicated his Golden Globe award for his role on Transparent to the transgender community.