Examining the rapid rise of controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate.
Andrew Tate - "the world’s most Googled man", ex-kickboxer, webcam pimp and the hyper-viral toxic misogynist at the heart of a global moral panic - has instant name-recognition amongst 12-24 year-olds throughout the English-speaking world. He is all over the Web, ubiquitous on phone screens, the source of endless rows between mothers and teenage sons in the USA, UK, Australia and elsewhere. He has been lionised by Tucker Carlson, Piers Morgan and US conspiracy star Alex Jones, who has pioneered the ranting "angertainment" style Tate has adopted.
There’s a defiant energy about Andrew; he drives fast cars and smokes cigars while filling young mens’ heads with dreams of riches and fast women. But there are growing signs of something dark and sordid lurking in his past, misdeeds that threaten to derail his apparent success. Serious allegations of coercive control and sexual violence against women have now emerged, both in Romania and latterly in the UK.
Who is Tate really and where did he spring from? How did he engineer his meteoric rise to social media stardom in the summer of 2022? And what is the background to his sudden, sensational arrest in the dying days of that year?
AMOS Pictures, the production company behind HBO’s stunning documentary successes Leaving Neverland, Terror at the Mall and Four Hours at The Capitol, will apply its tried and tested story-telling powers to this story, using the vast amounts of archive on Tate’s life - both seen and previously unseen - combined with interviews of those who encountered him on his journey to global notoriety, to create a revealing, must-watch narrative of the rise and fall (and perhaps rise again) of the world’s most infamous and controversial internet star.
In October 2022, Andrew Tate - out of the blue - approached AMOS Pictures to make a documentary on the true story of his life. Executive Producer Dan Reed and Director Marguerite Gaudin met with Tate in Dubai to make clear that the film would not be a 'puff piece' and that he would have no editorial control. He agreed, on condition that they did not film his computer or phone screens.
Gaudin began filming just a few days before Tate’s unexpected arrest by the Counter-Terror and Organised Crime police in Bucharest, Romania, in late December 2022. With Tate no longer accessible, Reed and Gaudin reviewed their storytelling approach while keeping the same basic aim of having Tate tell his story, with no holds barred, in his own words.
Gaudin and her team discovered a treasure-trove of 400 hours of video material covering the last 15 years, much of it featuring extremely candid interviews and statements by Tate in which he talks about his life, his past, his businesses, sex, violence, control, relationships and all the hot-button issues which have been roiling public opinion since his rise to global fame in summer 2022.
Using this footage, some of it never seen before, and seeking out figures from his past and present, both supportive and critical - the documentary critically charts Tate’s origin story, shedding light on his journey to wealth and fame and examining the wider impact of his "teachings". It also rigorously explores the allegations of violence against women, which date back to the early days of the Tates’ webcam business in Luton and have dogged the brothers as they scaled up their sex-work enterprise in Eastern Europe.
This will be the definitive documentary on Andrew Tate, the one to successfully put together the pieces of his murky past in the form of a clear, chronological and exciting narrative. No one yet knows when the Tates will go to trial but "Tatesim" is certainly not going to fade away as long as such vast numbers of isolated male teenagers, "lost boys" and angry young men, rightly or wrongly, feel empowered by its message.