Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images
Instead of simply accepting the Oracle Award during the British GQ Men of the Year Awards in London on Tuesday, Sept. 3, Russell Brand decided to act like an oracle and deliver some opinions, launching into a tirade against the show's sponsor, Hugo Boss.
According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, the comedian took issue with the German fashion label, which was founded in 1924, and in its earlier incarnation had been found to have provided uniforms for the Nazi regime.
"Any of you who know a little bit about history and fashion will know that Hugo Boss made the uniforms for the Nazis," Brand reportedly said at the podium. "The Nazis did have flaws, but, you know, they did look f--king fantastic, let's face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality."
Brand, 38, then joked about the fashion label's sales during that era. "Like, 'We're selling a lot of these...It's flying off the shelves. We had a lot of clients in the ‘30s and ‘40s, I can't remember all of them.'"
Imitating Adolf Hitler and doing the Nazi salute, he asked, "Does it ring any bells?"
The Sun reports that Hugo Boss paid upwards of $390,000 to sponsor the event. The British newspaper claims that Brand was booted from an after-party because of his rant.
The at-times controversial Get Him to the Greek star, who has also been known to appear at charitable events without incident and even give the shirt off his back to those in need, stands by his comments and called Hugo Boss a "#nazitailor" via Twitter on Wednesday, Sept. 4.
Brand also tweeted an alleged conversation he had with a GQ editor.
"GQ editor: ‘What you did was very offensive to Hugo Boss,'" he wrote. "Me: ‘What Hugo Boss did was very offensive to the Jews.'"
The company apparently didn't know about its early connections to Hitler's regime until 1997, when Boss' name appeared on a list of dormant bank accounts released by Switzerland bankers. According to The New York Times, the brand, which during the Nazi era was a family-run business, made police and military uniforms during the 1930s before shifting to men's fashion in the early 1970s.
Though the event was said to be a raucous event overall, at least one person appreciated Brand's comments: actor Jeremy Piven.
"Thank you ,Russell, for pointing out the people that killed six million of my people," said Piven while onstage presenting an award.