In videos splashed across the internet, Andrew Tate, a onetime kickboxing champion turned self-styled men’s-help guru, has argued that women are the property of their husbands and should “have kids, sit at home, be quiet and make coffee.”
His fans have called him the king of toxic masculinity.
Tate’s content has rapidly spread across social media this summer, racking up millions of views and raising concerns about the impact on boys and young men who come across it. After seeing his popularity spike in recent months, he has bragged about his reach.
Now, Tate has been barred from TikTok, Facebook and Instagram.
In a statement to The Washington Post, a TikTok representative said Tate’s account was removed for violating the company’s policies that bar “content that attacks, threatens, incites violence against, or otherwise dehumanizes an individual or a group” based on attributes including sex. Meta said it had removed Tate’s official accounts on Facebook and Instagram, pointing to policies against dangerous organizations and individuals.
Tate, a 35-year-old American-born, British-raised resident of Romania who ran an online “education and coaching” program called Hustler’s University, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Other social media influencers — along with several organizations that support survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence — had called for him to be booted off social media platforms. Hope Not Hate, a Britain-based group that launched a petition calling for Tate to be deplatformed, described him as dangerous.
“The effect that Tate’s brand of vitriolic misogyny can have on the young male audience is deeply concerning,” Hope Not Hate said. “His content is widely celebrated by his fans for having brought back ‘traditional masculinity.’ However, we also know that misogyny can be a gateway to other extreme and discriminatory views.”
The group noted Daily Beast reporting that Tate’s home in Romania was raided in April as part of a human-trafficking investigation. No arrests have been made and Tate has denied wrongdoing.
Tate first gained notoriety in 2016, when he was kicked off the reality TV show “Big Brother,” the BBC reported, after a video surfaced that appeared to show him hitting a woman. The pair later claimed that his actions were consensual. In 2017, he sparked an online furor after posting on Twitter that women should take personal responsibility and protect themselves against sexual assault.
In the thread, posted in reaction to the sexual assault claims against Harvey Weinstein, he wrote, “If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must [bear] some responsibility. I’m not saying it’s OK you got raped.” Twitter permanently suspended his account as a result, NBC News reported.
Tate initially had a following among far-right circles on social media, NBC News reported. He dined in 2019 with Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson and “Pizzagate” conspiracy-theory propagator Jack Posobiec; Mike Cernovich, another proprietor of conspiracy theories, has called him a friend. He made several appearances on Infowars.
But it is in recent months that Tate has gone mainstream, as videos and podcast interviews featuring him took off on social media and he climbed in Google searches. By August, he had more than 4 million Instagram followers; videos tagged with his name had reportedly been viewed 12.7 billon times.
His sudden ubiquity did not happen organically, the Guardian reported. Paying members of Hustler’s University were directed to bombard social media platforms with his videos, selecting the most controversial to boost engagement in what experts described to the news outlet as manipulation of the algorithm. Among videos that gained traction was one in which he advised his followers to “slap, slap, grab, choke” women in the bedroom and another in which he said he dates 18- and 19-year-olds because it’s easier to leave an “imprint” on them.
Many of the videos that have drawn viewers on TikTok appear to have been posted by Tate’s followers. A TikTok spokesperson told The Post, “Our investigation into this content is ongoing, and we continue to remove violative accounts and videos that promote misogyny and other hateful behavior.”
Responding to criticism over his comments, Tate said in an interview with NBC News that he plays an “online character” and coaches men “to avoid toxic people as a whole.”
“It has nothing to do [with] hate for women,” he told the outlet.
Yet Tate’s influence caused enough alarm that an Instagram account aimed at classroom teachers created a guide for addressing his views with students. Groups aimed at helping domestic violence survivors argued that allowing his comments to remain on social media platforms normalized misogyny and violence.
Zainab Gulamali, policy and public affairs manager at Women’s Aid in Britain, told the Daily Mail, “Making derogatory comments and videos about abusing women is as dangerous as it is unacceptable: This normalizes the misogynistic and sexist attitudes which are at the root of all violence against women and girls.”
“Sexist actions and language that reinforce women’s inequality have been tolerated for too long,” she added. “It is vital that we all challenge these deep-rooted misogynistic attitudes, which normalize women being emotionally abused, belittled and controlled, as well as physically harmed.”