Who is self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate?

Social media influencer Andrew Tate made headlines twice this week: first on Wednesday when he teased on Twitter with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, then on Thursday when he was arrested in Romania for human trafficking.

But even before Tate’s arrest, the social media influencer and former kickboxer was amassing a colossal following online as an apparent men’s self-help guru.

Tate has described himself as a misogynist; one admirer called him “the king of toxic masculinity”. His lengthy interviews with podcasters are often edited down and widely shared by both his supporters and detractors alike, fining himself on a laundry list of sexist comments towards women, including blaming victims and promoting violence against women.

Some critics, attuned to Tate’s long history of hate speech, were not surprised by this week’s arrest but saw it as a possible situation where words meet deeds.

Who is Andrew Tate?

Born in the United States and raised in both the United States and England, Tate first found fame as a kickboxer. During his pro career, which began in 2007, Tate won multiple world titles within the International Sport Kickboxing Assn. at fight from UK

Tate relocated to Bucharest, Romania in 2017 where he fought his last fighting streak before retiring in 2020.

Tate’s fame grew in 2016 when he was a contestant on the UK version of reality TV show Big Brother. His brief stint on the show was marred by controversy. First, a series of homophobic and racist tweets surfaced. Then a video surfaced that appeared to show Tate hitting a woman, leading to his being removed from the show after just six days. Tate later claimed the violence was consensual.

How did he mess with Thunberg?

Tate’s arrest comes shortly after an online rant with climate activist Greta Thunberg. On Dec 27, Tate tweeted that ThunbergHe boasted his “33 cars” with a photo of himself parking a Ducati sports car at a gas pump and asked them to “provide your email address so I can have a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.” can send. “

After that, Thunberg clapped back with a spicy one own tweet, Tate responded by releasing a video showing him sitting at a table with a pizza box from a Romanian chain, Jerry’s Pizza. It was widely speculated Online that Romanian authorities used the video to prove Tate was in the country to conduct their raid, but investigators have since dismissed the notion that the video played a role in the arrest.

Tate has a huge online following with 3.7 million followers on Twitter. Before he was kicked off various social media platforms, Tate had 4.6 million followers on Instagram and more than 740,000 followers on YouTube, according to a Rolling Stone report.

A man in a leather jacket interacts with a woman and another man during a television recording

Andrew Tate at the Big Brother house in England in 2016.

(Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images)

His online fame is often fueled by his opponents’ intense criticism of his various statements. But he can also boast a passionate fanbase of mostly young men. He has dined with far-right figures and expressed his support for former President Trump.

Tate has found a home in the so-called “manosphere,” an anti-feminist movement that the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as “replete with misogynist attacks that can be astounding because of the guttural hatred they express.”

While some followers have reached out to Tate for advice on relationships or fitness, many have found their own followers by editing and sharing clips of Tate’s hateful comments. The clips are often accompanied by titles and captions praising Tate for “owning” or “destroying” his critics.

Describing the manosphere’s appeal to young men, YouTuber and cultural critic FD Signifier said it appeals to men frustrated by the “existential angst” of “capitalism’s patriarchy” and may turn to figures like Tate for answers . Interest, he said, often starts with someone wanting to “build muscle, or learn to talk to girls, or search for their favorite anime character, and ends.”[s] to fight for things like enforced monogamy, gender redistribution, or that women should be denied the right to vote.”

What did Tate say online?

As part of a two-hour interview in 2021 on the Anything Goes With James English podcast, Tate said, “You can’t smear me because I’m going to say right now that I’m absolutely sexist and absolutely misogynistic, and I have f— you money, and you cannot take that away.”

In a separate video, Tate complained that “women fail in their roles,” which he believes should be cooking and giving birth to a man. Elsewhere, he lectured a roomful of young women that career aspirations don’t matter and that the “happiest women” have kids and a husband to pay their bills.

During a July interview on the Barstool Sports podcast “BFFs,” Tate said he believes men should have authority over women, likening them to a house or a car. Tate attempted to clarify his views later in the interview. “I’m not saying they’re owned,” he said. “I say they are given to the man and belong to the man.”

In another video, Tate said he was sleeping next to a machete. He said that when a woman accuses him of cheating on her, “you whip out the machete, bang her in the face, and grab her by the neck.”

In August, Tate was banned from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The companies cited violations of their dangerous person and hate speech policies in their decisions to remove him from their platforms.

“Misogyny is a hateful ideology that will not be tolerated on TikTok,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. “Our investigation of this content continues as we continue to remove accounts and videos that violate infractions and take steps to strengthen our enforcement, including our detection models, against this type of content.”

Tate was permanently banned from Twitter in 2017 for violating its terms of service, but was reinstated last month after Elon Musk took over the platform and granted clemency to scores of silenced users.

Why was Tate arrested in Romania?

Romanian authorities arrested Tate along with his brother Tristan Tate and two Romanian people on Thursday in an investigation that includes charges of human trafficking and rape. The arrests were first reported by the Romanian news newspaper Libertatea.

The detention was only meant to last 24 hours, but a judge granted prosecutors’ request to extend their detention to up to 30 days, according to a BBC report.

“The Matrix has sent its agents,” reads one tweet Tate’s account said Friday.

Investigators with Romania’s Organized Crime and Terrorism Task Force did not name Tate, but said in a statement they had identified six possible female victims who were recruited by British citizens, who lured them with promises of marriage and cohabitation, but later physical and mental ones They used force to force them into homes where they were filmed having sex.

The allegations also include the rape of a victim.

“It doesn’t matter what the judge decides [on the longer detention]we will take further action to investigate this crime,” Ramona Bolla, a spokeswoman for Romania’s Directorate of Investigation into Organized Crime and Terrorism, told The Washington Post in a phone interview on Friday.

Tate’s home in Romania was previously raided in April as part of an investigation stemming from reports of an American woman being held captive at Tate’s home, the Daily Beast reported.

According to a report in the Romanian newspaper Gândul, the police found an American woman and a Romanian woman in the house during the raid.

Tate appeared to respond after the April raid with an Instagram picture showing him smoking a cigar in a mock interrogation room with fake cops. The caption read, “Officer… I think we can all agree that b— loves to lie.”

According to a deleted YouTube video reposted to Reddit, Tate has said in the past that “40 percent” of his move to Romania was because of what he believed to be laxer sexual assault laws. In the video, he mocks the #MeToo movement, saying it gives women the right to “destroy men’s safety” with false accusations.

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