Who is Andrew Tate and why did he go viral?
Image via LADbible
It seems that for the past two weeks no one has been able to escape the name “Andrew Tate”. Although recently viral due to numerous TikTok videos with millions and millions of views and shares, Andrew Tate has been in the public eye for far longer than one might imagine.
From kickboxing to Big brother to Twitter bans, Tate has expanded its reach in every way imaginable. He has become a cult figure for many directionless men, who seek to see their own beliefs shared in the mainstream media, and therefore vindicated. This British-American influencer, who currently lives in Romania, has certainly made waves in today’s online culture, garnering various reactions across the web. But who exactly is self-proclaimed billionaire Andrew Tate and why has he gone viral?
Who is Andrew Tate?
Tate was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1986 and spent most of his childhood in Luton, England. His career began in a rather normal and conventional environment, working as an employee selling television commercials; however, his future would lie in boxing and martial arts. From an early age, Tate trained in various sports, leading to his first interaction with celebrity. Winning several tournaments during his kickboxing career, Tate began to make a name for himself in Europe. However, it wasn’t until a few years later that he would begin to gain recognition online.
In 2016, after joining the 17th season of Big brother, Tate was forcibly removed from the contest after a violent video of the athlete was shared on Facebook. This short clip showed Tate beating a woman with a belt, causing Tate to be immediately kicked out of the house. It would be just the first of many controversies to follow Tate over the years. Although the woman in the video made it clear that Tate’s actions were consensual, her actions only tarnished her name, with even more negative press over time.
Why did it go viral?
Shortly after its first online controversy, Tate would go on to make its first social media expansion, this time marking Twitter as its victim. Tate has had his accounts suspended on Twitter a total of four times, but that has never stopped this internet sensation from voicing his incredibly questionable opinions. His first suspension came in 2017, during the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse cases, when Tate took it upon himself to give the multi-millionaire abuser a voice, sharing his views on what he sees as a qualifier of sexual abuse, and therefore, defend Weinstein’s actions. It was just the first of many instances where the athlete would openly express his contempt for victims of sexual abuse.
Since then, Tate has been bringing his dangerous advice and opinions to TikTok, gaining extreme popularity after his videos were shared by his fans and “students”. To put it simply, the former athlete has established a “Hustler University”, a private academy that is in no way approved as an accredited educational institution. Students at this university pay fees to learn about cryptocurrency, dropshipping, and several other topics, including the idea that attracting “comment and controversy” is key to success. This allowed the influencer to maintain a steady stream of income, becoming a particularly successful figure online. His influence grew even greater after he asked members of Hustler University to rack up views on his videos and share them endlessly.
Since his rise to prominence and popularity, the self-help guru known as “The King Of Toxic Masculinity” has gained huge following on TikTok, with most of his viewers being young men. His YouTube videos and interview clips show him inciting verbal and physical violence towards women and the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the gratuitous use of racial and homophobic slurs on his social media.
Along with his candid thoughts, an old video of Tate has surfaced where he confessed to moving to Romania because it was, in his words, easier to be cleared of rape charges in Eastern Europe. In April 2022, The Daily Beast shared that Tate’s home in Romania was raided by Romania’s Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigation Directorate, as part of an investigation into human trafficking and rape. . This raid resulted in police finding a Romanian and an American on Tate’s property. The investigation into Tate is ongoing.
Regardless of the information shared about Tate’s dodgy past, his steady stream of content has earned him a huge following of young men, many of whom believe Tate is just saying what everyone thinks. These men believe that Tate gives a voice to men who feel strongly victimized at the hands of feminism, equality and politically correct culture; further fueling hatred and violence in an already vicious society.