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We’ve watched The Dangerous Rise of Andrew Tate — now, how can we guarantee the fall?


By Sarah Gill
22nd Feb 2023

BBC iPlayer

We’ve watched The Dangerous Rise of Andrew Tate — now, how can we guarantee the fall?

Premiering on BBC Three on Tuesday 21 February, The Dangerous Rise of Andrew Tate tracks the meteoric rise of the ‘king of toxic masculinity’, and gives a voice to some of the women affected by this militant misogynist.

The online world is well documented as being something of an echo chamber. The algorithm bends to our will, largely coinciding with our own beliefs and reinforcing our own ideologies. My own side of the internet — which naturally, I consider to be the right side of the internet — is vehemently against Andrew Tate and the teaching he espouses.

It is for this reason that, upon watching the new VICE documentary — which has reportedly been years in the making, and was acquired and premiered by the BBC this week — a shiver ran down my spine at the level to which his man has indoctrinated his legion of followers.

The documentary, entitled The Dangerous Rise of Andrew Tate, sees journalist Matt Shea bring us inside Tate’s Romanian compound and right into the epicenter of his violently toxic school of thought.

“Andrew Tate is an Anglo-American kickboxer-turned-influencer whose extreme misogynist videos have helped to make him the most viral man in the world,” the 45-minute exposé begins. “On December 29, he and his brother were arrested by Romanian police as part of a rape and human trafficking investigation.”

A man responsible for ushering in a new era of modern misogyny, Andrew Tate has been quoted as having said that women can avoid being raped by “having a degree of personal responsibility”, views women as property, and promotes the subjugation and objectification of women to his audience of brainwashed sycophants.

Granted rare access to Tate’s inner circle and ‘secret society’, Shea challenges him on his controversial stances towards the opposite sex, and highlights his dangerous predatory behaviours. Radicalising a generation of young men through his business ventures, Tate’s revenue streams include $49/month from over 160,000+ active members of Hustler’s University, and a network called ‘The War Room’ that’s selling the promise of manhood for just $5,454 a pop.

This deeply disturbing watch takes on a much more harrowing quality when Shea hears from women who have been affected by Tate, both directly and more peripherally. The documentary hears from two women who reported Tate for sexual assault and physical abuse in 2015, claims which he has denied.

One woman — who was given the pseudonym ‘Amelia’ — shared text message and voice recordings from Tate that include one that hears him say, “Am I a bad person, because the more you didn’t like it, the more I enjoyed it. I f*cking loved how much you hated it, it turned me on.” He also engaged in scare tactics, leaving voice notes reminding Amelia of the caliber of man he is: “I am one of the most dangerous men on the planet.” The Crown Prosecution Service declined to prosecute on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Shea notes that in the UK, only one out of 100 reported rapes result in a charge, “let alone a conviction”

The documentary also heard from those more obliquely affected by Tate’s vitriol, including women whose “sweet, [and] maybe a bit vulnerable” boyfriends were radicalised by Tate’s online presence, teachers who were worried for the impressionable boys and young men in their midsts, and one 14-year-old girl who was brought to the brink of tears by the “horrible things” the boys in her class feel able to say to and about girls.

When it comes to the workings of the online world, controversy will always reign supreme. Contentious characters pique interest, and by being more inflammatory, you get more eyes on you, and the more views amassed, the more revenue comes pouring into the social media platforms that give these people a soap box from which to shout from. Hence why Tate’s videos remain on TikTok, and why Elon Musk reinstated Tate’s Twitter account — he gained 1 million followers in just 24 hours.

Many people write off Andrew Tate’s alpha male persona as a character, a hat he puts on to push back against ‘PC culture’, but the absurdities of this meme-ified guise take on a much more insidious nature in light of the fact that both he and his brother are being detained and investigated for suspected human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.

This isn’t some retrospective documentary tracking the long-forgotten infamy of a well-documented tyrant. It’s a real-time exposé of a man who is condoning and advocating for violence against and the subjugation of women. Not only does Andrew Tate promote the hatred of women, but he believes that men should be defined by their ability to inflict violence on others.

Young men deserve to have positive figures of masculinity to model their behaviour upon, but Andrew Tate could not be further from filling this role. The internet is a murky cesspit of toxicity, and it can be all too easy to fall into an echo chamber of lewd, harmful, and brainwashing thought. Now that we’ve watched The Dangerous Rise of Andrew Tate in full on technicolour, it’s time to ensure the fall.