Before 2022, Andrew Tate was not known by wider society, bar a few kickboxing fights, and a brief stint on Big Brother 2016- before he was removed due to a sexual assault investigation. Nonetheless, social media sites such as TikTok have blown up with Tate, with over 12.7 billion views explaining the importance of hypermasculinity, physically abusing women that cheat, and claiming depression aren’t real (The Guardian, 2022). Although these statements are wildly controversial, this is only the tip of the iceberg for Tate. Since his emergence in mainstream media, Tate’s world has somersaulted into jeopardy, where he will since swapped his designer suits for a prison jumpsuit.
The real question remains: Who is Andrew Tate? And how have his views prompted a worldwide movement that has indoctrinated the next generation under the guise of becoming an ’alpha male’?
The alpha mindset
Although Tate has gained traction over the past year, his misogynistic behaviour was first addressed in 2016. As previously mentioned, Tate was removed from the Big Brother house in 2016 due to a video emerging of Tate attacking a woman with a belt (Glamour, 2023). It can be argued that this act was consensual, as Tate and the women in the video have declared, however, these acts have supported his views regarding women as second-class citizens. His most viral videos denounce feminism, arguing women can’t drive if women are raped they should bear responsibility, and men can cheat but this doesn’t apply to women, and 18-year-old women are more attractive than 25-year-olds because they have not to be exposed to as much sexual activity (The Guardian, 2022). These comments have understandably been condemned by women’s charities and social media sites such as TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook have permanently banned Tate as his content has breached the Terms and Conditions under the clause of hate speech and inciting violence (Good To Know, 2023). Tate was banned on Twitter in August 2022 however his account has been reinstated since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover; despite the uproar, Musk has argued that ‘negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted and demonetised’ and ‘you won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out’.
Though many breathed a sigh of relief with the termination of Tate’s accounts, it is important to note his rapid social media success and high exposure of videos was not by Tate’s own personal accounts. It has been reported that followers of Tate are encouraged to post excessive amounts of his videos in order to manipulate the algorithm and achieve maximum views and engagement; this proved a major success as Tate had more Google searches than Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian (Independent, 2023). This marketing ploy was devised by subscribers of Tate’s online academy Hustler’s University. At £39 a month, over 127,000 followers aim to study the teachings of ‘self-help guru’ Tate, with various tactics to achieve financial gain such as investing in cryptocurrency and increasing social status by -disturbing- learning of ways to get female attention (The Independent, 2023). The so-called affiliate scheme also allowed members to earn commissions by recruiting members- ultimately, but not surprisingly, a blatant pyramid scheme (Sky News, 2023).
Despite various disturbing comments regarding women, Tate holds various standards for men to become the ultimate alpha male, with partially amusing statements such as drinking tap water as opposed to ‘feminine’ sparkling water. Whilst these comments are toxic opinions, young boys and men are becoming increasingly influenced by Tate’s affluent, lavish lifestyle and see his words as a guide to becoming an alpha male- or as Tate calls it ‘a Top G’.
As Tate is bombarding TikTok, there is also an increasing worry that young boys and incels have become disillusioned and radicalised by Tate’s misogynistic views that are glamourised alongside his luxurious, playboy lifestyle. Whilst Tate argues that some clips are taken out of context, these views are not confined to social media and are becoming normalised due to the high exposure of Tate’s videos; such beliefs are trickling into the mindset of kids as young as 11, with teachers stating that there is a rise of misogyny and kids are openly admiring Tate’s views and taking his beliefs as gospel (Insider, 2023). As Hustler’s University encourages controversy in order to obtain success, it appears that young boys are favouring misogyny over rational logic.
Tate vs Thunberg
Despite Tate’s success, there was no predicting the demise of his career would stem from a Twitter interaction with environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Boasting about his 33-strong car collection, Tate targeted Thunberg, asking for her email to provide the ‘enormous emissions’ of his vast car collection (Sky News, 2023). Although Tate aimed to amplify his macho, hyper-masculine energy through his wealth and lavish car collection, he undermined the Gen-Z humour and roasts of Thunberg, swiftly replying with the amusing email ‘email@example.com’ (Glamour, 2023).
Whilst many would back down in shame or admit their defeat, this is not the case for Tate; the chances of an apology coming from his misogynistic mouth is slim to none. Instead, Tate responded with a two-minute video, dressed in a Versace robe, and smoking a cigar, aiming to reassert his dominance and masculinity by undermining her achievements- please note that Thunberg was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize- and arguing the use of Bot Farms was the reasoning behind the viral success of Thunberg’s tweet, now at approximately 3.9million (Rolling Stone, 2022). Although Tate was satisfied with his response, this did not turn out in his favour… as a pizza box that appeared in his video led to his subsequent arrest.
Prior to his Greta-Thunberg induced arrest, Tate’s residence was raided in April 2022 by Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism Unit due to allegations of a woman being held at Tate’s house against her will. Whilst there was no charges or arrest against Tate, there was reports of an ongoing investigation regarding rape and human trafficking. To many people, Tate residing in Romania appears to be out-of-sorts, however the reason is rather unsettling; whilst Tate was residing in the UK, police were investigating allegations of abuse. In order to avoid charges, Tate relocated to Romania, arguing that ‘40% of the reason was to evade rape charges’ although he vehemently denied he was a rapist. Instead, he liked ‘the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free’ (Rolling Stone, 2022).
Tate’s wishes to remain free came to an end on 29th December 2022, as his video responding to Greta Thunberg displayed a Romanian pizza box, alerting authorities of his precise location, and thus leading to his arrest. It appears that Tate’s urges to have the last word lead to his well-deserved downfall. Tate was detained alongside his brother Tristan as part of an investigation into allegations of human trafficking, rape and an organised crime group, which they strongly deny (Daily Beast, 2022). The Tate siblings have since remained in custody as the investigation continues, following an appeal to be released which was ultimately denied.
It is widely considered the arrest was due to a webcam business, earning the Tate brothers approximately £500,000 a month at their peak. As opposed to the traditional business structure of women performing for donations and paid time slots, Tate took an unconventional approach by falsifying sob stories to men in order to trigger an emotional response, thus receiving donations. Tate himself has admitted to impersonating the cam girls by messaging the men, earning as much as £3,200 a day by typing for 16 hours. The brothers openly admit the business was a scam, however their personally crafted terms and conditions provided legal protection against accusations of fraudulent activity; it is stated that broadcasting is ‘for entertainment purposes only’ and all cash given to models is ‘a voluntary sign of gratitude for their time broadcasting’ (Independent, 2023).
The future of the top G
As the king of toxic masculinity is sat in his concrete cell, his support from his followers continues to grow. With protests in Greece calling for his release and ongoing hatred towards ‘The Matrix’, i.e. anybody who disagrees with his views, Tate continues to be a voice for insecure men around the world.
As the investigation resumes, we can only hope that the only ‘hustling’ that Tate can now do is with his lawyer to obtain minimal jail time, as his time in prison currently appears to be indefinite. 1-0 to The Matrix.
BBC (2023) Who is Andrew Tate? The self-proclaimed misogynist influencer.
Daily Beast (2022) Police Raid MAGA ‘King of Toxic Masculinity’ in Human-Trafficking Investigation. Glamour (2023) Andrew Tate: A Timeline of Everything That’s Happened Leading to His arrest (And the Subsequent Investigation).
Good To Know (2023) Who is Andrew Tate? The controversial influencer's fame and arrest explained.
Independent (2023) Who is Andrew Tate? All you need to know about the influencer arrested in Romania.
Insider (2023) As his beliefs have seeped into homes and classrooms, children as young as 11 think Andrew Tate is their 'god’.
Rolling Stone (2022) Breaking Down Andrew Tate’s batshit Greta Thunberg Response Video.
Sky News (2023) Who is Andrew Tate, the self-styled 'king of toxic masculinity' arrested in Romania?
The Guardian (2022) Inside the violent, misogynistic world of TikTok’s new star, Andrew Tate.