One of the greatest holiday gifts we, as a collective people, got this year was a perfect, no-notes slam dunk on men’s rights podcaster Andrew Tate by teenage climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg. After Tate tweeted a list of his car collection at her, bragging about his emissions, Thunberg shot back, encouraging Tate to “enlighten her” by sending the list to the email email@example.com. Thunberg’s breezy response clearly caught the internet personality off guard, since the only thing Tate could do reply in the moment was: “How dare you?”
For those who aren’t aware, Tate is a former kickboxer who used a failed reality television stint to switch to a career in content creation. The now infamous media personality was booted from the 2016 UK version of Big Brother after a video of him beating a woman with a belt was leaked. While both Tate and the woman in the video said the actions were consensual, Tate has also faced numerous accusations of abuse from other women – and he has since relocated to Romania.
“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want,” he said. “I like being free.”
In April 2022, Tate and his brother Tristan’s home was raided by Romanian police as part of a human trafficking investigation, but no one has been charged and both Tates have denied the allegations.
But Tate is perhaps most famous for his frequent podcast and Twitch appearances, where he grew in popularity for doubling down on wildly misogynistic takes, like his belief that women who are raped share some of the blame and that women decrease in value the more they have sex Before he was banned from the most popular social media sites, Tate had amassed at least 4 million Instagram followers and close to 1 million subscribers on YouTube.
It took Tate 10 hours to come up with a better comeback to Thunberg’s diss, and apparently the best he could do was a one-minute response video practically dripping in condescension. But beyond the Versace bathrobe and poor audio quality, Tate also manages to misrepresent climate change, Thunberg’s joke, and his entire political ethos. Here are just a few fact-checks.
“I’m obviously a stranger to online controversy”
Either Tate has no idea how sarcasm works or the internet personality has fundamentally misunderstood how he makes his money. Tate has built an online presence and dedicated fanbase by spewing half-baked and often misogynistic takes on women, relationships, politics, and racism. His videos thrive on controversial opinions — and have even gotten the podcaster banned from TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Tate was also banned on Twitter for over five years before he was reinstated by Twitter owner Elon Musk.
“My very extensive car collection with internal combustion engines, which run on dead dinosaurs…”
Dead dinosaurs is a common (if apocryphal) reference to crude oil, made from organic matter that’s broken down over millions of years. But I wonder how his brother Tristan feels about Tate calling a car collection they share together solely his?
“[Greta] responded by telling me her own email address.”
I’m not here to explain comedy to Tate, but this is a very unfunny way to try to spin the joke back on Thunberg. But not to worry, because the podcaster’s likes and retweets are full of other right-wing political pundits trying to explain why they think Thunberg’s response wasn’t funny. I’m sure Thunberg will call Matt Walsh next time to the workshop.
“I’m not really mad at Greta”
Sir, you are a grown man and you had your employees film a shitty iPhone clap-back against a 19-year-old, in a fight that you instigated. You had to put on that ugly Versace robe and do at least one take of this video, where you clearly look upset.
“Please bring me pizza and make sure those boxes are not recycled.”
Breaking news: Andrew Tate doesn’t know that pizza boxes can’t be recycled.
“[Greta] doesn’t realize she’s a slave of the matrix.”
Here’s the big one. Much of Tate’s content revolves around a new-age belief that the modern world is its own kind of matrix. A theory based on the 1999 sci-fi film The Matrix, Tate believes that the world is controlled by powerful people or machines that want to keep people unaware that they are being brainwashed. People have the choice to take the blue pill, and remain blind, or take the red pill and have their eyes opened. The film series takes much of its inspiration from philosopher Jean Baudrillard and other philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. But in recent years, being red-pilled has transformed into a hallmark of men’s rights and incel (involuntarily celibate) movements. And Tate has marketed himself as a sort of prophet of truth, one who wants to give as many people the red pill as possible. I wonder why Tate doesn’t address that his favorite theory is actually an allegory for being transgender.
It’s been just over a month since Musk officially reinstated Tate on Twitter, giving him another platform to espouse his general misogyny, targeted speech, and selling access to his learning platform “The Real World.” Tate won’t go anywhere as long as he’s making this much money. But it’s nice to know that as long as he keeps speaking, there will always be at least one person willing to knock him down a peg.
Editor’s Note: Andrew Tate and his brother, Tristan Tate, were detained on Dec. 29 in Romania on suspicion of human trafficking, rape, and forming an organized crime group.