Andrew Tate, the odious “manosphere” influencer spreading violent misogyny and financial scams to TikTok tweens, tried to mock environmental activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter, only to be humiliated by Thunberg’s smooth comeback.
Tate, if you are fortunate enough never to have heard of him, is a former kickboxer who became an alt-right influencer; Tate describes himself as "absolutely a sexist" and "absolutely a misogynist,” and has stated that women "belong in the home" and that they are "given to the man and belong to the man."
Tate’s Twitter account had been banned, unsurprisingly, but was reinstated in late November following Elon Musk’s takeover of the site.
Tate’s Twitter posts are intentionally provocative, often indistinguishable from satire, bragging about his wealth and success, featuring photos and clips of the influencer puffing on cigars and wearing sunglasses indoors, like a prepubescent boy who just watched his first Guy Ritchie movie.
Tate randomly took aim at Thunberg, bragging about his 33 cars and their “enormous emissions,” writing to the 19-year-old:
“Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”
Thunberg responded to Tate’s childish taunt with a simple putdown:
“Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at [email protected]”
Tate soon responded to Thunberg, writing: “How dare you?!”
Twitter users reacted with delight, jumping at the chance to mock Tate.
Tate was, seemingly, quoting a famously passionate speech from Thunberg in which she criticizes the polluters who have poisoned our planet, and the politicians who enabled the damage.
But Tate’s style of posting is so strangely sincere, full of wildly insecure boasts and immature taunting, the vast majority of Twitter users read Tate’s response as an earnest expression of offense.
The exchange sparked a discussion of Tate and his fellow “manosphere” influencers, and the corrosive effect they have on young men who are still struggling to find their place in the world.
After enduring several hours of mass mockery, Tate eventually responded again, posting a bizarre video clip of himself wearing a bathrobe and smoking an oversized cigar, in which he describes Thunberg as “a slave to the Matrix,” and insisted that he is “not mad.”
Tate went on to speculate that the vast amount of retweets and positive comments in Thunberg’s favor were due to “bots.” Tate’s replies were quickly swamped with Twitter users who continued to mock him.
Thunberg, however, didn’t bother to comment on the exchange again.