Russell Brand may be known for his wild antics on the big screen, but the British star got serious on his website about the ongoing riots in the U.K.
Brand posted an essay, titled “Big Brother Isn’t Watching You,” commenting on the recent violence and riots in London’s suburbs. Though he now lives in L.A. with his wife, Katy Perry, Brand says he’s anything but disconnected from what’s happening across the pond.
“It isn’t my absence from the territory of London that bothers me it’s my absence from the economic class that are being affected that itches in my gut because as I looked at the online incident maps the boroughs that were suffering all, for me, had some resonance,” he writes, noting he has lived in several of the neighborhoods affected by the riots.
Brand also admits he used to take part in protests when he was younger and found them exciting, but it was because he had a “lack of direction.”
“These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one,” he writes, adding, “If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together.”
He ends his post with a quote by Gandhi -- “Be the change you hope to see in the world” -- and with a message for members of the London community.
“If we want to live in a society where people feel included, we must include them, where they feel represented, we must represent them and where they feel love and compassion for their communities then we, the members of that community, must find love and compassion for them.”
Brand’s serious blog post is the second one he’s written in just a few weeks. The day after his close friend Amy Winehouse died, Brand took to his website to mourn the loss of the British singer in another moving essay.
Other celebrities have taken to Twitter to sound off on the London violence of the past week, including Piers Morgan, Kelly Osbourne and British Chef Jamie Oliver, whose restaurant was vandalized during the riots.