Russell Brand might have received his final prize at the British GQ Men of the Year Awards.
The comedian got into hot water with the magazine by making a Nazi joke about the show’s sponsor, Hugo Boss, during the event earlier this month. Now, he’s written a column for the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, defending his comments and calling out the absurdity of awards shows in general.
Brand, who was on hand to receive the night’s Oracle award and was reportedly banned from the afterparty following his acceptance, explains what led up to him making the Boss joke.
“I thanked [the presenter], said the ‘oracle award’ sounds like a made-up prize you’d give a fat kid on sports day — I should know, I used to get them — then 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.”
Brand wrote that he was just making an observation and didn’t have any secret agenda. “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; they are, I thought, an irrelevant menswear supplier with a double-dodgy history.”
But what his night at the GQ event really drove home was how ridiculous awards shows can be. “I do have some good principles picked up that night that are generally applicable: the glamour and the glitz isn’t real, the party isn’t real, you have a much better time mucking around trying to make your mates laugh. I suppose that’s obvious. We all know it, we already know all the important stuff, like: don’t trust politicians, don’t trust big business and don’t trust the media. Trust your own heart and each another. When you take a breath and look away from the spectacle it’s amazing how absurd it seems when you look back.”
Brand also used a Guardian column to tell his side of a truly awkward interview he did with MSNBC back in July.