TikTok is facing calls to remove videos of an outspoken influencer and ex-Big Brother star who has been accused of spreading misogynistic ‘rape culture’ content to audiences as young as 13 on the platform.
Raised on an estate in Luton, Bedfordshire as the son of a catering assistant and an American-born chess master, former kickboxer Andrew Tate, 35, is no stranger to controversy.
But in the last three months Chicago-born Tate, described as the ‘king of toxic masculinity,’ has been searched on Google more than Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian. Today, he’s worth an estimated £24million, with millions of social media followers.
He also has thousands of acolytes emulating him in his £39-a-month ($47) ‘Hustler’s University’ – where self-described experts use Discord servers to promise followers get rich quick schemes using cryptocurrency, property or e-commerce.
The former Big Brother contestant’s career has been mired in controversy, with accusations of misogyny, racism and human trafficking cropping up throughout his six years in the limelight.
Despite a successful kickboxing career that saw him win two international titles, Tate’s spectacular rise to fame has been linked to the proliferation of British teenagers using the Chinese video sharing platform TikTok.
On its shady social media pages, impressionable boys as young as 13 are exposed to the rants and ravings of a man who once told rape victims to ‘bear responsibility’ and has openly described hitting and choking women.
In one clip shared online, in which he acts out how he would attack a woman if she accused him of cheating, Tate says: ‘It’s bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up b****.’
Leading domestic abuse charities have warned such content is extremely misogynistic and has the potential to radicalise men to bring harm to the real world.
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, told MailOnline the Chinese video sharing app should take responsibility for videos on its platform and had a duty of care to take harmful content down as soon as possible.
He said: ‘It’s highly irresponsible of TikTok to keep videos like this up for young people to see.
‘We know that TikTok can have a great influence on young minds, and it’s clearly a popular part of the online world. It’s worrying that messaging like this can be seen by so many people’.
Outspoken TikTok influencer Andrew Tate, 35, who shot to fame for his outlandish views and once starred on Big Brother has been accused of spreading misogynistic content to audiences as young as 13
British-American kickboxer Andrew Tate, 35, came from humble beginnings when he was raised on an estate in Luton as the son of a catering assistant and an American chess master
Tate hit the headlines again when he was kicked out of the Big Brother house in 2016 over a video that showed him hitting a woman with a belt
Influencer Andrew Tate’s controversial past
Historic tweets by Tate were unearthed depicting allegedly abusive messages he sent to singer Cheryl regarding her marriage to footballer Ashley Cole.
In one message he refers to Cheryl and her former husband as ‘massive w*g sockets,’ as well as launching an attack on Canadian rapper Drake.
He is also said to have posted the now-deleted comment: ‘If I wanted to see black people running I’d just threaten them with jobs.’
The 35-year-old was booted off the show after a video emerged of Tate beating his ex-girlfriend with a belt, which he claims is the reason why he was removed from the Channel 5 reality show the day before.
The clip shows the star continually hitting the woman with his belt – he also slaps her across the face.
But the star insisted it was ‘playful fun’ and said at the time: ‘A longer version of the video shows us laughing and I’m hitting myself saying “it doesn’t hurt”. ‘I’m still friends with her and she’s in the UK with me now. I would never hit a woman.’
Tate stoked the fires of controversy again shortly before World Suicide Day when he tweeted ‘depression isn’t real’.
He wrote: ‘There are very few fat lonely man, aged 60 with no money or family or hobbys. Who arnt depressed. – this is not a clinical disease’.
His remarks were later blasted by former boxer Ricky Hatton and best-selling author J.K Rowling.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Tate caused controversy with his comments about rape.
At the time, he tweeted: ‘Women have been exchanging sex for opportunity for a very long time. Some did this. Weren’t abused. […] If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bear some responsibility.’
Twitter removed the tweets for violating their policy and Tate’s account was suspended, however he has since gone on to become a verified user.
Tate and his brother Tristan allegedly ran a cam girl business in Romania after moving there in 2017, where ’75 lingerie-clad models take calls from fans paying $4 a minute’.
He previously said: ‘I could open a strip club, but that takes money and I need overhead, I need money. How can I use these women to make me money.
‘At the height of my webcam pimpin’ I think I am the king of the world […] the problem is the first two girls worked for me because they loved me, […] but once you get bigger you start hiring girls who don’t love you. They are in it for the money.’
According to Daily Beast, Tate’s mansion was raided by Romanian authorities in relation to an alleged human trafficking incident.
The investigation followed a tip off from the US Embassy that a 21-year-old American woman was being held at the home against her will.
The case is ongoing. The brothers were released at the time and deny all wrongdoing.
Tate has attracted attention and controversy for his outlandish comments that promote ‘male-female interaction’ such as throwing a woman’s possessions out of a window, and describing an ex-girlfriend as a ‘dumb h**’.
In seemingly harmless online clips, the cigar-smoking playboy quips that he only drinks sparkling water and that men should shirk cats and instead own dogs as pets.
But his messages that are widely shared online also adopt a darker tone.
Other videos purportedly show Tate explaining why being able to ‘make an imprint’ means he only dates women aged 18 to 19. Across various clips he says women belong at home, shouldn’t drive and are a man’s property.
Various reports about his personal wealth see his net worth range from £20 to £230million. In recent interviews he claimed to make his first million at 27, while earning £100 million by the time he was 31.
The influencer has benefited from hundreds of online profiles that push traffic to his ‘Hustler’s University’ website that offers training courses on ‘escaping the rat race’ and accumulating vast wealth.
Tate’s professional kickboxing career took off while he was working as TV producer in his 20s.
In 2005 he won a cruiserweight championship and picked up his second title, the ISKA World Full-Contact Light Cruiserweight Championship, in 2013.
He hit the headlines again when he was kicked out of the Big Brother house in 2016 over a video that showed him hitting a woman with a belt.
Later clips emerged showing Tate telling a woman to count the bruises he had allegedly caused.
Both Tate and the woman in the video have denied any abuse occurred, and said the clips showed a consensual sexual relationship.
Other videos show Tate openly discussing a time when he claims he accidentally broke a woman’s jaw in a nightclub after his phone was knocked out of hand.
In another, he explains how he was investigated by police for allegedly abusing a woman, which he has strenuously denied.
It is around this time he is understood to have moved to Romania, explaining that he is ‘not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want – I like being free’.
Tate’s father, Emory Andrew Tate II, also used to make headlines in his heyday – as a ‘trailblazer for African-American chess’ during his stellar career in the game.
He was ranked the 72nd highest-rated chess player in the United States in 2006, and in 2007 he received the international master title.
Tate II also served in the US Air Force, working in England and Germany before returning to Chicago, to have his first child – Emory Andrew Tate III. In the last five years of his life, he spent time in the Bay Area teaching chess to schoolchildren.
On October 17 2015, he was playing at the Sam Shankland Open in Milpitas, California, when he emerged from the bathroom, collapsed, and tragically died.
Allegations published in the Daily Mirror claim that Tate and his brother, Tristan, were making millions from webcam sites that target lonely men who fall for online models and their ‘fake sob stories’. The pair have described the allegations as ‘a total scam’.
The Tates’ murky world was revealed further in April, when their Romanian mansion was raided by local authorities after a tip off from the US Embassy that a 21-year-old American woman was being held there against her will.
The case is ongoing. The brothers were released at the time and deny all wrongdoing.
Controversial Andrew Tate also had a famous father – world renowned chess master Emory Andrew Tate II (pictured). His Chicago-born father served in the US Air Force, before kicking off his career and lifelong love of chess. He was described as a ‘trailblazer for African-American chess’
Three generations of Emory Tate: Tate Sr., (left) kickboxer and controversial TikToker Andrew Tate (center) and chess master Tate II (right). The ‘toxic masculinity’ peddler was born in Chicago before being raised on an estate in Luton, England
The former Big Brother contestant’s career has been mired in controversy, with accusations of misogyny, racism and human trafficking cropping up throughout his life in the limelight
Despite a successful kickboxing career that saw him win two international titles, Tate’s spectacular rise to fame in recent months has been linked to the proliferation of British teenagers using the Chinese video sharing platform TikTok
Leading domestic abuse charities have warned the content shared by Tate’s followers is misogynistic and has the potential to radicalise boys to bring harm into the real world
Who was Andrew Tate’s American chess master father?
Andrew Tate’s father was Emory Andrew Tate II – a Chicago-born chess master.
He was ranked the 72nd highest-rated player in the United States in 2006, and in 2007 he received the international master title.
Before his chess career took off, he joined the Air Force – but he continued to show his skill among his colleagues.
During his time in the forces, he learned to speak fluent Russian.
Tate won the US Armed Forces Championship in 1983 as Senior Airman, in 1984 as Sergeant, and in 1987, 1988, 1989 as a Staff Sergeant.
From the late 1980s to the 2010s, Tate was renowned across the US for his skill – and he became a ‘folk hero in the African-American worldwide chess community.’
He tragically died during a chess tournament in Milpitas, California, in 2015.
By this point Tate’s Twitter account had already been suspended when tweets containing homophobic and racial slurs were found on his profile.
At the height of the #MeToo movement in 2017, Tate told his followers that rape victims should ‘bear some responsibility’, while mental health charities slammed his comments belittling depression a year later.
His controversial views have earned him meetings and appearances among right-wing figures, most notably conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Nigel Farage, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and Donald Trump Jr.
Amelia Handy, policy lead at Rape Crisis England and Wales told MailOnline: ‘It is unacceptable that such a blatant display of misogyny is being given a platform.
‘These videos are a clear example of rape culture, where rape and sexual violence are minimised and survivors are blamed for crimes committed against them. Sexual violence does not exist in a vacuum, it is very much rooted in the sexist belief that women and girls are less valuable than men and boys.
‘It is therefore deeply concerning that young people have access to content that teaches just this and makes sexual abuse seem normal.
‘TikTok has a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its users: by allowing these videos on their platform they are failing to protect the millions of young people who use their app.’
Zainab Gulamali, policy and public affairs manager at Women’s Aid added: ‘Making derogatory comments and videos about abusing women is as dangerous as it is unacceptable: this normalises the misogynistic and sexist attitudes which are at the root of all violence against women and girls.
‘We know that violence against women and girls is a spectrum, running from sexist comments and ‘banter’, right through to horrifically violent crimes and murder.
‘Sexist actions and language that reinforce women’s inequality have been tolerated for too long. It is vital that we all challenge these deep-rooted misogynistic attitudes, which normalise women being emotionally abused, belittled, and controlled, as well as physically harmed.’
The brief clip shows the star continually hit a blonde woman with a belt and also slapping her across the face. Both Tate and the woman in the video have denied any abuse occurred and described it as consensual and playful
Despite TikTok’s community guidelines banning misogynistic content and shell accounts, Tate’s videos have been viewed more than 11.6billion times.
An investigation by the Observer found Tate’s followers were actively encouraged to spread his most controversial videos far and wide across social media.
Their attempts have seemingly worked, with Tate’s online following booming. Moreover, there are now over 127,000 people who are understood to have signed up to his non-accredited £39-a-month Hustler’s University.
But leading domestic abuse charities have warned the TikTok content spread by Tate’s followers online is ‘extremely misogynistic’ and could have concerning long-term effects on a young audience.
A spokeswoman from domestic abuse charity White Ribbon told MailOnline that harmful behaviour and attitudes towards women and girls can ‘normalise violence’.
‘Men and boys regularly watching and listening to negative presentations of masculinity may begin to adopt these attitudes and behaviours, believing that they are acting as the “ideal man”.
‘This relates to being seen as tough, aggressive and suppressing emotion. These traits feed into gender norms, what ‘being a man’ and ‘being a woman’ is. Gender inequality is a direct result of traditional and negative stereotypes which confine women’s and men’s roles in society.
‘Not only does this create a lot of pressure on men and boys, often affecting their mental health and self-image, it also creates dangerous cultures and environments for women and girls to exist in.
‘Sexist and derogatory comments exist on the same spectrum as controlling behaviour and physical and sexual violence, which creates environments where men go on to murder women.’
A TikTok spokesman told MailOnline: ‘Misogyny and other hateful ideologies and behaviours are not tolerated on TikTok, and we are working to review this content and take action against violations of our guidelines.
‘We continually look to strengthen our policies and enforcement strategies, including adding more safeguards to our recommendation system, as part of our work to keep TikTok a safe and inclusive space for our community.’