Russell Brand is the type of guy that you give an award to and then he’ll call out your past Nazi ties, and I fucking love him for it. Given that award ceremonies of any kind are nothing more than self congratulatory circle jerks with sponsored lubricant, some honest, straight talking Nazi involvement is a refreshing twist.
After being awarded the Oracle Award (seriously, what fuckery is that?) at the British GQ Men of the Year awards, Brand gave a politically-charged speech calling out award sponsor Hugo Boss‘ history of outfitting the world’s best dressed killers—the Nazis. Brand, a noted wildcard and infrequent hair washer, said:
“Any of you who know a little bit about history and fashion will know that Hugo Boss made the uniforms for the Nazis. The Nazis did have flaws, but, you know, they did look fucking fantastic, let’s face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality.”
Hugo Boss acknowledged the Nazi link back in 1997, the New York Times reported at the time. The company became aware of the connection to Hitler’s regime when Boss’ name appeared on a list of dormant bank accounts released by Switzerland bankers that year.
Looks like Brand did some research before he arrived. He was later kicked out of the after party because his Nazi ramblings ruffled Hugo Boss’s fancy feathers. It’s pretty suspect to get super butthurt because somebody pointed out your Nazi past instead doing a casual shoulder shrug and being like “yikes, that was a rough time in our history,” but Hugo Boss couldn’t just be cool about it. Apparently people don’t like being reminded of their less than honorable histories. Ask a British person about imperialism or a non-Native American hipster about her sexy headdress. This doesn’t tend to go over well.
Brand took to his twitter to post an exchange between himself and a GQ editor following his acceptance speech:
While I generally think it’s stupid to be like HEY EVERYONE I HAD A PRETTY GOOD JOKE TONIGHT on your social media account, I think we can all agree that’s a pretty good zinger.
Although some would reasonably argue that there’s not a statute of limitations in terms of how long you have to take shit for helping out Hitler & Co., but it’s not like Hugo Boss is currently shipping outfits to the West Virginia Aryan Brotherhood these days. But I guess an outburst like that is what they should have prepared for when giving a loose cannon like Brand the “Oracle” award. Or when you help out Nazis.
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