In the age of social media influencers and celebrity shamans, few have captured headlines like andrew tate. The 36-year-old is an ex-professional kickboxer who rose to fame after competing in Big Brother and has since accrued a huge following online, winning the world kickboxing championship four times. His ostentatious lifestyle, which includes fast cars and private jets, has garnered him both far-right admirers as well as left-wing critics for his misogynistic views on women.
His controversial statements have led to him being removed from X, formerly known as Twitter, and banned from YouTube. In December, he and his brother Tristan were detained in Romania on charges of human trafficking, rape, and forming an organised crime group to sexually exploit women. They deny all the charges.
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Despite being banned from most of the major social media platforms, Tate still has millions of followers on his own channels. In particular, his videos on TikTok, which is banned in many countries, have been viewed billions of times. He has a cult-like following.
Women’s charities have expressed concerns that the influencer promotes dangerously misogynistic attitudes and could be encouraging young men to abuse women. One charity, Women’s Aid, said: “It is dangerous that the accused, and their followers, use words like ‘women property’ to describe women and make derogatory comments about them. This normalizes the misogynistic and sexist attitudes that are at the root of violence against women and girls.”
A campaign has sprung up on social media for the pair to be released. Many have signed a petition and others have been using TikTok to make supportive videos outside the Romanian prison where they are held.