top of page

How to talk to students about Andrew Tate

This article contains references to rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Andrew Tate, embodying an unapologetic strain of misogyny, finds himself thrust into the limelight once more. Recent studies reveal that one in five males aged 16 to 29 in the UK hold a positive view of the self-proclaimed 'influencer,' despite his legal entanglements in Romania where he faces charges of human trafficking, rape, and orchestrating a criminal syndicate for the sexual exploitation of women (Tate denies these allegations).

So should you be worried if the young men in your classroom are consuming Tate's material? And how can you talk to them about him in a safe, empathetic and productive way? Let's start with who Andrew Tate actually is.

A photo of Andrew Tate dressed in all black, handcuffed to another man on his left. The two men are walking out of a building with black doors. Andrew has a serious expression on his face.
Andrew Tate, centre, leaving the Court of Appeal in Bucharest, Romania in January 2023

Originally from the US and raised in Luton, Tate transitioned from professional kickboxing to appearing on Big Brother in 2016. His entry into the house was marred by the revelation of numerous homophobic and misogynistic tweets. Within six days, a disturbing video surfaced online showing him slapping a woman and striking her with a belt. Despite both the woman and Tate claiming that this was consensual, the video elicited widespread horror, resulting in Tate's expulsion from the Big Brother house. 

He faced a Twitter ban (later revoked), and has expressed controversial views, including denying the existence of depression, advocating for women's subservience to men, and claiming women should “bear some responsibility” if they are raped and that they “belong in the home.” 

While he was running a webcam company in 2015, he was arrested by British authorities on suspicion of sexual assault following accusations by two women. One accuser told Vice News of enduring strangulation by Tate multiple times while employed by him. However, the case was dropped in 2019 when the Crown Prosecution Service opted not to pursue charges.

Despite his multiple public acts of misogyny, criminal acts of abuse, tweets about comparing LGBTQ people to aliens, denying COVID, and the fact that he's banned from Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for violating their community guidelines, his following of young men in the UK remains strong.

So why do young men like Andrew Tate?

The reason so many young men are drawn to Tate's online presence is largely down to the fact that, despite its warped view of reality, a lot of Tate's messaging is seemingly positive, encapsulating confidence, independence and financial success.

One of Tate's main gigs is the Hustler's University which he founded in 2021. This is an online community platform that teaches skills and strategies for achieving financial success. 

"You can work anywhere, anytime, and be your own boss. Don’t be lazy. It’s now time to change your life and become successful!” Tate's quote sits proudly on the homepage of the platform site. Of course, at first glance, his entrepreneurial persona may seem inspiring to those genuinely wanting to change their careers and become financially successful. 

In this regard, there's nothing 'wrong' with admiring Tate's attitude to business if all you've encountered is the Hustler's University (other than the stock marketing photos being all men, there's nothing outwardly controversial on there). But the site's already impressive 220,000+ members doesn't compare to the whopping 8.8m followers on Tate's Twitter (X) account, where he lets his much more personal and much more problematic opinions enter people's feed.

A photo of Andrew Tate. He's wearing a black t-shirt and large shades. He is standing outside in front of 3 sports cars.

Of those 8.8m, it's easy to imagine a large percentage of those followers are young men and boys. And many of those young men and boys see Tate as an icon. Despite the toxicity of his ideas, they are alluring in their simplicity.

As one of our facilitators Will Hudson said in our panel talk on Boys & Mental Health last year, "Andrew Tate has a clear marketability for what he's selling - [he says] you can be strong, successful, attractive and here's how".

By suggesting that success is achievable through hard work and by disregarding women, Tate offers reassurance to a lot of insecure teenagers who  have few positive male role models, but are bombarded with messages of masculinity’s toxicity, and are therefore confused about what type of man they should be.

Researcher and advocate Gary Barker explains in his recent Ted Talk on reframing masculinity through empathy that when boys and young men don't have spaces to talk, they go online. Therefore if schools aren't offering safe spaces for conversations about Andrew Tate to be had, then their male students will only be encouraged to find solace in online conversations about masculinity, which can be unhinged, uncensored, and unhealthy.

How can teachers talk to students about Andrew Tate?

As with the term 'toxic masculinity', the name 'Andrew Tate' has become a buzzword for shutting down a conversation. 

However, shutting down conversations about Andrew Tate does little to address the underlying issues driving his popularity among young men. Instead, teachers should approach the topic with sensitivity, empathy, and a commitment to fostering critical thinking skills.

1. Create a truly safe space

First and foremost, it's essential to create a safe and inclusive classroom environment where all students feel respected and valued. Acknowledge that discussions about Andrew Tate may evoke strong emotions and differing opinions, and emphasise the importance of listening to each other with empathy and understanding.

Try and steer clear of phrases like 'cancelling' as this can evoke defensiveness and lack of enthusiasm to share ideas.

2. Provide the facts

When discussing Andrew Tate, it's crucial to provide context and factual information about his background, beliefs, and actions. Help students critically evaluate the messages and values promoted by Tate, encouraging them to consider the potential impact on themselves and others.

As we've discussed further up this article, not all aspects of Tate's messaging are outwardly 'bad', so it might be helpful to draft a 'pros and cons' type list with your students of everything Tate has to offer. Get everyone in on the conversation and try to be as objective as possible in receiving their ideas while meeting them with the facts. 

By weighing the pros and cons of Tate's messaging, students can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding his influence and develop critical thinking skills to navigate similar content in the future.

A teacher stood at the front of a classroom wearing a black t-shirt and a white and red cap. They are smiling and talking to a group of students. The students are facing the teacher and the backs of their heads are out of focus.

3. Don't shy away from the bad

There will be some people who've either engaged with the 'best' version of Tate (i.e. Hustler University), or have only engaged with his content on a surface level, and therefore aren't aware of the hugely offensive things he's said or crimes he's committed.

It might be useful to have some quotes, tweets or video clips to hand so you and your students can critique the hard evidence together. It's so easy for harmful messages to pass through our ears when we're mindlessly scrolling through short-form content for hours every evening, but a new opinion could be formed when the impact and meaning of those messages are under a spotlight before us.

4. Encourage a multi-perspective lens

Encourage open dialogue and respectful debate by asking probing questions and encouraging students to consider multiple perspectives. There's never one right answer, and having an open mind can encourage their critical thinking on an academic level too!

5. Provide alternative role models

It's always important to be providing your students with solutions, not just the problems. Therefore highlighting alternative models of masculinity that promote empathy, respect, and healthy relationships can be a really effective way of steering your students away from Tate on their own accord.

Marcus Rashford, Jordan Stephens (from Rizzle Kicks) and Brendan Fraser are all great examples of positive role models for men and boys in an age of prioritising mental health, challenging gender stereotypes and accountability.

These celebrities who advocate for such values initiate a ripple effect, inspiring more men to redefine their own identities.

6. Remind students that they have the power

Finally, encourage students to critically evaluate the media and online content they consume, helping them develop the skills to recognise and challenge harmful messages and stereotypes when they next encounter it.

As much as we all want to say we know social media isn't a true reflection of reality, these days it does a pretty good job at convincing us otherwise. Students need to feel empowered to make their own minds up about the content they see so that they can focus on their own true authentic identities.

Navigating discussions about Andrew Tate requires a delicate balance of sensitivity, factual understanding, and critical thinking. Creating safe spaces for dialogue, providing factual context, and encouraging multiple perspectives are essential strategies for addressing his influence. By highlighting alternative role models and empowering students to evaluate online content critically, teachers can guide them toward authentic self-discovery and a healthier definition of masculinity.


Book Voicebox's 'Healthy masculinity' workshop or 'Introduction to Masculinity' assembly for KS3 and above by clicking here. Book our 'Gender Stereotypes' workshop for KS2 by clicking here.

If you have a question or would like to chat through something with one of the team, you can book a free consultation here.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page