Bizarre Influencers: A Portrait of a Controversial Celebrity

Living Journalism

Bizarre Influencers: A Portrait of a Controversial Celebrity


​At Glance

  • "My body is in jail. But my mind is not."

  • Rise to popularity

  • Playing the character

  • Andrew Tate's War Room

  • Only one social media platform left

  • Andrew Tate's legacy

Tate Behind Bars Still Maintained The Mindset Of A Superstar “My body is in jail. But my mind is not in jail. Do you understand?” This was one of the tweets that influencer Andrew Tate posted from jail in March. Tate started off as a kickboxer, winning multiple contests with his brother. However, he rose to popularity during the past few years, with his number of views and followers peaking in late 2022. At one point, Andrew Tate became one of the most searched names worldwide. What led to his popularity, and why is he known as a controversial figure?Coming from a humble background, Andrew Tate began his career in kickboxing with his brother Tristan Tate. In the early days of their career, they didn't have enough funds to buy proper food, so they collected leftovers from KFC. Despite their modest beginnings, they climbed the ranks in kickboxing and became public figures with a large following. This is one of the most appealing traits of the Tate brothers, especially Andrew, who often spoke about his journey. Along with his message of hard work and determination, he tried to promote traditional values such as marriage. However, his controversial take on various issues has undermined his moral character and shown that he may not follow the values he preaches.

His journey of controversy started in 2016 when videos surfaced of Andrew Tate abusing women. In one of the videos, Tate interrogates a woman with bruises, and she says that Tate is responsible for them. In another video, Andrew Tate explicitly hurts a woman, even though he later claimed that he would never hit a woman. His controversial views later revealed how he views women. For instance, in 2017, Andrew Tate tweeted that women should take responsibility for being sexually assaulted during the #MeToo movement. Following this controversy, he moved to Romania, where the law against sexual abuse is not perfect, and the jurisdiction system is widely known to be corrupt. Currently, he is under investigation for alleged human trafficking. Recently, he was released from jail and put under house arrest.Like many others, Tate has built his internet persona by creating controversy with his opinions and statements. Prior to the human trafficking allegations, he had spent years promoting misogyny, violence, and egocentrism, which inevitably drew attention to him. Despite having a large number of fans, criticism of his sexist comments soon began to appear not only on social media but also in mainstream media worldwide. He quickly became one of the most recognizable online figures and gained a foothold through interviews on online platforms and podcasts, which allowed people to get to know him better through his own words.Screenshot of a post section by Andrew Tate on his Twitter channel. Used for educational purposes.

When questioned about his misogynistic opinions, the influencer's stance is ambiguous. At times, he reinforces his statements with even more offensive comments, while other times he justifies himself with immature excuses. In August 2022, Tate told the online platform LADbible, "It is unfortunate that old videos of me, where I was playing a comedic character, have been taken out of context and amplified to the point where people believe false narratives about me." His lawyer, Tina Glandain, also portrays him as a victim of a conspiracy when asked if Tate is playing a character or not during an interview with Times Radio, saying, "I think he says many things as entertainment. It's his public persona, and those things are not all intended to be taken seriously." Glandain goes a step further, claiming that Tate is a "free speech martyr," reinforcing his self-centeredness and creating a victimized and populist persona.If there is anything more damaging than Tate's own actions (for which he is already being punished), it is the negative influence he has on thousands of people. Tate's followers gather at an event called War Room in Romania. Tate plays the role of a cult leader, and young men - among with not so young men anymore - are required to pass a masculinity test to have the opportunity to fight a professional MMA fighter in a real cage-fight octagon. The average hardcore supporter of Tate is a young man filled with emotional emptiness, accumulated anger, and boredom. These followers find guidance and purpose in Tate's message, and thousands of minds are brainwashed to believe that being a real man is equal to being a hero, and that life should feel like a movie. Despite the sad reality of these followers, we must not lose sight of the real victim of all this: women who receive unjustified hatred and harassment.The primary tool for influencers to spread their message is social media, which provides an easy way to disseminate opinions and ideas. Tate uses social media as a means to spread his misogynistic thoughts and earn money. His most active account was on TikTok, where he managed to gain massive numbers of views and followers thanks to the platform's algorithm. His videos have been viewed more than 11.6 billion times. Currently, his TikTok account is banned, but many other users have been inspired by his ideas and are now creating similar content.A screenshot of a post section by Andrew Tate on his Twitter channel. Used for educational purposes.Andrew Tate also utilized other platforms such as YouTube, where he uploaded his podcast. However, he has been banned from YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Although he was banned from Twitter, his account was restored after Elon Musk bought the platform. As of now, he has 5.4 million followers on Twitter. Despite the ongoing investigation and his house arrest in Romania, his Twitter account remains active.​​​​​​​Andrew Tate has a large fanbase, with some genuinely believing in his ideas of male dominance and patriarchy, while others feel inspired to achieve success in life despite his misogynistic views. However, Braso, in particular, is a special case, only showing up when the food is on the table at dinner.

Let's go back and examine some of Braso's older videos. They are mainly commentary videos on Minecraft, one of the most popular online video games. Dramatic titles with eye-catching, colorful thumbnails lure in inexperienced YouTube viewers into his clickbait trap. At one point, Braso crossed the line and got exposed. When Technoblade, a prominent Minecraft streamer, was diagnosed with cancer and tragically passed away, Braso actively made videos supporting Technoblade, claiming that the money he would earn from these videos would go to charity. However, he did not donate a single penny to any charitable cause. Braso's YouTube career seemed to have come to an end as people stopped watching his videos, which couldn't even reach 10,000 views.

However, out of the blue, Braso reuploaded an Andrew Tate video, in which he was playing chess with Piers Morgan, and it received an astonishing 1.5 million views in just two weeks. The timing was perfect, as it was just a week before Andrew Tate's scandalous arrest. Braso's lucky bet shifted his content to cater to Andrew Tate's supporters like a 24/7 drive-in. In most of his videos, Braso doesn't even speak, only taking clips of Andrew Tate, adding thumbnails and titles. However, in these two weeks of a Eureka moment, he made almost 100 videos, which milked a lot of views.​​​​​​​A screenshot of Braso's Youtube channel homepage. Used for educational purposes.

​​​​​​​The case of Andrew Tate raises several questions for debate: Who is deserving of a following? Should every opinion be given equal consideration? What is the true extent of influence held by social media personalities? Despite being under investigation for serious crimes in Romania, Andrew Tate's ideas, values, and calls to action continue to spread, creating a dangerous and pervasive atmosphere that cannot be ignored.

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