2022 really did end with a bang. In a final twist to the year that was, Andrew Tate, coined as the most hated man on the internet, was arrested and detained in Romania following a Twitter argument with renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The story is as wild as that sentence sounds. The former kickboxer turned social media “influencer” has garnered a disturbing amount of followers over the past couple of years while sharing his problematic, misogynistic and dangerous views about women. He was even banned from Twitter for the disturbing posts he made, but his account was reinstated in November after Elon Musk made sweeping changes to the platform.
Earlier this year, Tate became the subject of a Romanian investigation after local authorities suspected him of human trafficking and sexual assault. In late December, Tate was arrested and detained over the alleged behaviour.
So what exactly happened and how did a pizza box come to be the ultimate clincher? Below, we recount everything you need to know about Andrew Tate’s arrest.
Who is Andrew Tate and why is he problematic?
Andrew Tate become one of the most talked about people on the internet in 2022 when videos of the so called “influencer” talking about his misogynistic views began flooding TikTok, a platform renowned for catapulting topics and people into the viral mainstream. His largely male fanbase (which include boys as young as 13) were understood to be behind the original push of his content onto the platform.
For those less familiar with his past, Tate’s notoriety stems back to his appearance on a 2016 season of Big Brother on which he was eliminated after only six days when a video was leaked revealing him hitting a woman with a belt. Tate and the woman both said the act was consensual at the time.
But Tate’s disturbing views towards women have quickly come into plain sight. The 36-year-old has posted numerous videos where he can be heard saying misogynistic things including that women should “shut the f*** up, have kids, sit at home, be quiet and make coffee”.
When the #MeToo movement surged in 2017, Tate said that female rape victims should bear some responsibility for their own rape. Despite being called out for it, the former kickboxer has repeated this opinion numerous times since.
In another disturbing twist, Tate also runs an online program called the Hustler’s University, where members can allegedly earn up to £10,000 (AU$17,239) a month by following his steps to “success”.
What did Andrew Tate do?
Romanian authorities have been investigating Tate for several months (according to reports) on suspicion of rape, human trafficking, and forming an organised crime group. Tate was suspected of this activity alongside his brother, Tristan.
On December 29, reports emerged that Romanian authorities had arrested and detained the two brothers for these alleged crimes. Prosecutors said six women have claimed they were sexually exploited by Andrew and Tristan, per The Independent.
How was Andrew Tate arrested and what did the pizza box have to do with it?
Around Christmas, Tate instigated a Twitter debate with respected climate activist Greta Thunberg by boasting about the emissions of his 33 cars. Not missing a beat, Thunberg’s response to the problematic social media figure was lauded by many: “Yes, please do enlighten me. email me at [email protected],” she wrote.
In response to the clap back, Tate then shared a video of himself where he tried to claim that Thunberg was talking about herself in her Tweet. During the clip, pizza boxes were delivered to Tate by an unknown person off-screen.
Looking closely, the logo on the pizza boxes could be identified as a local chain based in Romania, and it was this that apparently confirmed to authorities that Tate was in the country, and he could therefore be arrested.
In a final, brilliantly and aptly put response to the arrest, Thunberg simply Tweeted: “This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes.”