Merchandising MisogynyOnline Retailers Cash In On Andrew Tate
While the former kick-boxing champion awaits trial in Romania for allegations of sex trafficking, Dimitris Dimitriadis and Sian Norris reveal the money being made in his name
Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive editorial emails from the Byline Times Team.
Online retailer eBay is promoting merchandise that calls for the release of the misogynistic influencer Andrew Tate, Byline Times can reveal.
The e-shop was found to be prominently displaying men’s t-shirts that feature the slogan ‘Free Top G’ – a reference to Tate’s online persona – on its platform through sponsored ads, as well as on Google search results through Google adverts.
‘Top G’ refers to ‘top gangster’. The calls to “free” Tate relate to his recent arrest in Romania on charges relating to sex trafficking. He denies all allegations.
A spokesperson for eBay said: “These items do not violate eBay policy and therefore are not prohibited from being sold on our platform.”
An investigation by Byline Times found similar items being sold by Amazon and advertised via Google ads.
The description for a ‘Free Top G’ t-shirt sold on Amazon read: “If you are a TOP G this is the perfect outfit for you, this is for all the entrepreneurs and businessmen and women”.
Several of those controversial clothing items were made available on Amazon Prime for next-day delivery and cost as much as £26.
Also promoted on Amazon through sponsored ads was the ’41 Tenets for men’ – a set of ‘rules’ that surround Andrew Tate’s cult, which his male fans are encouraged to live by.
The principles maintain that “men and women are different” and that men “have a sacred duty to protect and provide for the most important people in their lives”.
A third online seller, Etsy, is also promoting t-shirts and hoodies through ads on its platform with similar messages calling for Tate’s release.
Having started his career as a mixed martial arts competitor, Tate shot to fame on social media where he became known for his deeply misogynistic content, gaining a following of young men keen to buy into the idea that women are inferior and that men can ‘game’ women into sex. He ran a camgirl operation and has links to far-right actors in the UK and US.
Tate sold his misogynistic philosophy to an eager audience by styling himself as a self-help guru who could teach men how to ‘get’ women, through his Hustler’s University – now renamed as the ‘The Real World’.
Merchandise found on e-retailers as part of this investigation included bundles of money-making ‘courses’ offered through this platform.
“Level up your life”, one says. “You learn about MONEY from people who have made lots of money. We will teach you everything”. On offer, another item claimed, was also a “PHD Program”, with an image of a man standing by a number of women dressed in revealing clothing. Another eBay item features Tate standing by a Ferrari.
Hustler’s University claimed to teach its members how to earn passive income and escape the grind of the nine-to-five. This is often referred to by Tate and his supporters as “escaping the Matrix” – a reference to the 1999 film where people have been ‘blue-pilled’ into believing a false reality while only those who have taken the ‘red pill’ can see the truth.
References to The Matrix are popular among far-right men’s rights communities which believe there is a war on men and only those who are ‘Red Pill’ have woken up to anti-men reality.
Members of Hustler’s University or The Real World have also been encouraged to create bogus TikTok accounts and use them to post videos that advertise Tate and his courses: if those videos generate successful sign-ups, followers would have a small portion of their own fees waived, a process that would be repeated with every crop of new members.
Several examples of items featuring ‘offers’ for Tate’s supposed money-making ‘courses’ were found to be promoted on eBay through sponsored ads.
Google was recently criticised for running adverts for a ring of Tate-affiliated websites selling variations of “The Real World” scheme. While the tech company was “understood to have taken action against the adverts since they were brought to its attention”, such ads were still appearing at the top of Google search results when Byline Times conducted a similar search.
A History of Misogyny
Andrew Tate shot to prominence last year after it became clear his brand of aspirational misogyny had earned him millions of young male followers.
He has a long history of normalising male aggression and male supremacy. Clips of Tate include him talking about hitting and choking women, destroying their belongings and preventing them from going out – a form of coercive control.
“It’s bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up bitch,” he said in one video. He has accused a woman who alleged he was violent against her of being a “dumb hoe”.
Tate was removed as a contestant from Celebrity Big Brother in 2016 after saying that women should take responsibility for being sexually assaulted. He was investigated by the UK police after abuse allegations emerged, before leaving for Romania. In response to the move, he said “I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free”. He described eastern Europe as a place where “corruption is far more accessible”.
His arrest has led to concerns that his brand of misogyny and money-making is grooming a generation of young men into believing that women are inferior, that they are sex objects, and that sexually exploiting women for financial gain is aspirational.
Now, this investigation reveals how his fans are campaigning for his release from prison on serious charges. The merchandise often portrays Tate in hyper-macho, ‘gangster’ poses – for example smoking a cigar or standing alongside his collection of cars. The products sell misogyny as a lifestyle and alleged violence against women as something to celebrate and admire.
Interviews conducted by researcher Radu Nicolae with men convicted of sex trafficking in Romania, where Tate has been arrested, showed how those involved in the crime spent their money on luxurious lifestyles, fast cars and expensive houses
This is not the first time that eBay has come under scrutiny for allowing the promotion of controversial merchandise. In late 2021, it was criticised for allowing anti-vaxxers to sell stickers that spread misinformation about the pandemic, which left councils and public transport firms scrambling to remove them.
Amazon, Google and Etsy did not comment.