Mr. Russell Brand
c/o Hollywood
Hollywood Hills West
Hollywood, CA


Mr. Brand,

First of all, I want to say I’m a big fan. You are an unbelievable actor (and comedian and writer, but actor is how we put your name to a face over here). You were awesome in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and truly funny in the remake of Arthur, and women loved you as the retarded guy in that movie with Jonah Hill, who is also very good but quite frankly I am getting a little sick of. Also, congratulations on being friends with Alec Baldwin and making him a guest on your DIY news show. I didn’t catch that episode or many of your shows lately because I don’t much go in for that hipster rebel shit…but still, Alec Baldwin…that’s great.

Anyway, I am writing because in the U.S. it is mid-term election time and while nobody likes to have a laugh about the progressively desperate daily Democrat fund-raising emails hitting our inboxes more than myself, a lot is at stake. Judging from public comments you have made, it is pretty clear you have strong opinions about our political system and policies and all political systems and policies that are anything like it in general. I am respectfully requesting that those opinions and the opinions of the many other talented actors, pop stars and socialites you “lunch” with are kept to yourselves. This is not to say I’m not interested in you, Mr. Brand. I am very interested. If you are acting in a movie or looking to marry a pop star or sex up tons of famous ladies all the way from Hollywood to your side of the pond and then write a book about that…please do. By all means, give us a Russell Brand/Katy Perry exposé, or get busted for throwing another photographer's cell phone out a window. Your bad boy antics and rebellious ways, however sexist they may be, delight and beguile me. It is your earnest interest in my well-being I am not so crazy about.

It’s not that I don’t think you’re smart or (mostly) well-informed. It’s that somehow your public chastising of our political leadership and policies is, even when dead-on target, really fucking irksome. I realize my reaction is based on an emotional response and not an intellectual one. It is the feeling that somehow you believe your standing as an artiste allows you to understand issues on a deeper level than the less-enlightened, when in truth your sober analysis and call for revolution, however correct, elicits a reflective feeling of wanting to yell, “Shut the fuck up, finish your Avocado Toastie and get back to the set — Adam Shankman says it’s Magic Hour.”

In conclusion, obviously I cannot force silence upon you. Perhaps you could express your opinions through the medium of acting or stand-up, in which you are an entertaining and likeable guy, and not in political rants about the Fox News channel only our grandparents watch and encouraging people not to vote, where you seem like kind of a douche. We have Jello Biafra to provide us with left-wing political antics, and Jon Stewart to publicly call out the shit, so we’re all good there.


A left-leaning American who doesn’t want to hear it from a fame-seeker who's "made it" enough to hobnob with Alec Baldwin


P.S. “Voters are starting to get together to keep Wal-Marts out of their town so that their economies don't get wrecked. The local elections are where you handle rent control, living wages and medical marijuana laws. Few people vote in local elections, but if more people like us vote, we have a far better chance at getting cool people and cool propositions passed. If you don't show up, you can bet your sweet ass that the Bush gang and the Christian coalition will.” —Jello Biafra


*This letter is a rewrite of An Open Letter to Sean Penn, originally appearing in America (the Book), 2004

AuthorAlyssa Yeager