Explainer: Why is Andrew Tate so controversial? | The Express Tribune


Despite being banned from most social media platforms, it is difficult to not come across the presence of the self-proclaimed “king of toxic masculinity” Andrew Tate.

But who is the kick-boxer turned influencer that has taken over social media and formed a ‘manosphere’ with cult-like fan following?

The social media influencer was in the news after getting into a twitter rift with the environmental activist Greta Thunberg. A video of Tate’s reply to Thunberg allegedly gave the Romanian police the trails of his whereabouts that led to his and his brother, Tristan Tate, arrest for charges of human trafficking and forming an organised-crime group. It is alleged that he and his brother lured women to Romania on the pretense of a romantic relationship and then forced them into carrying out pornographic acts under duress, which were then filmed.

In 2016, Tate first rose to fame when he was removed from Big Brother over a video of him attacking a woman with a belt, which claimed was edited. Tate then made a website catering courses on accumulating wealth and “male–female interactions”. He also operated a webcam studio using his girlfriends as employees.

Later, he rose to notoriety because of his statements online regarding what qualifies as sexual harassment. He controversially said that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped.

“Sexual harassment is disgusting and inexcusable. However. A man looking at you or whistling at you or asking your name isn’t harassment,” the social media influencuer once tweeted.

In 2022, Meta announced that Tate’s social media accounts were being banned from all Meta platforms as well as TikTok stating that Tate’s “sexist” content was being investigated as it goes against their community guidelines.

In a video explaining why he moved to Romania, he said “probably 40% of the reason” he moved was because it would be easier to evade rape charges. He added: “I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free.”

In October 2022, Tate publicly announced that he had converted to Islam that sparked debate among Muslims as his conversion was received both positively and negatively.

Currently, Andrew Tate and his brother are being held in custody for an extra 30 days, until February 27, while police investigate allegations of rape and human trafficking. Both deny the charges.

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