London Mayor Boris Johnson not only received GQ magazine’s award for Politician of the Year this week, he (along with designer Hugo Boss) was also the target of a controversial rant from comedian Russell Brand.
The 38-year-old British actor reportedly verbally attacked Johnson, 49, during Tuesday night's Man of The Year event at the Royal Opera House in London after the mayor made jokes regarding the recent chemical attacks and subsequent deaths in Syria. “Glad to grace the stage where Boris Johnson has just made light of the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” said Brand during his acceptance speech for the Oracle award. “Meaning that GQ can now stand for genocide quips.”
Brand, who is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his roles in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Rock of Ages," went on to attack the show’s sponsor, German designer Hugo Boss, for making Nazi uniforms. “If you know a little bit about history and fashion you’ll know that Hugo Boss made the uniforms for the Nazis but you know they did look f---ing fantastic,” said Brand. “Let’s face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality… Genocide quips are okay."
According to a report from UK’s Metro, Brand finished his rant by “throwing a Nazi salute,” drawing gasps throughout the crowd. An eyewitness to Brand’s speech told Yahoo News Wednesday that following his award acceptance the entertainer was spotted “slumping in his chair” and appearing in a “troublesome mood” the rest of the evening.
Brand responded to backlash following his speech on his official Twitter account Wednesday, claiming GQ’s editor has since reached out to tell him his actions were “very offensive to Hugo Boss.” Brand responded by tweeting, “What Hugo Boss did was very offensive to the Jews,” also including the hashtags #GQawards and #nazitailor.
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The Hugo Boss company and Johnson have both yet to comment on their official Twitter accounts.