Why Does Andrew Tate Talk Like That?
His accent is as mysterious as his popularity
“Manosphere” personality Andrew Tate is back on Twitter, and back in the news for picking fights with a teenager. Tate, for those who don’t know, is the former pro-kickboxer who briefly appeared on Big Brother, before he was kicked off over video evidence that he once beat a woman with a belt (Tate claimed the footage was edited). He later became a TikTok self-help guru for incels, #mindset posters, and drop-shipping scammers, until he was banned from most social media platforms for comments like: “If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bare [sic] some responsibility.”
Since Elon brought him back, Tate’s most successful bid for virality has involved beefing with 19-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. In sum: Tate tagged Thunberg in a post bragging that he had “33 cars” with “enormous emissions” and, for somewhat unclear reasons, asked for her email so he could send a “complete list of my car collection.” Thunberg responded with the address “firstname.lastname@example.org,” triggering a “How dare you?!” from Tate and a wave of headlines involving the words “claps back.” Then Tate posted a two-minute video of himself smoking a cigar in a red bathrobe, as he eats pizza from boxes he assures will not be recycled and insists that he is “not actually mad at Greta.”
The video was a solid reminder that even a modicum of charm is not a prerequisite for internet popularity. It was also an opportunity to remember how weirdly Tate talks. He sounds like Kevin Spacey’s character from House of Cards got the Eliza Doolittle treatment. He sounds like someone who lost their speech in some kind of Little Mermaid-style bargain trying to relearn English via Librivox recordings. He sounds strange, and absolutely stateless.
Is his accent British? Texan? Maybe Romanian, as he’s lived there since 2017, for reasons possibly concerning the human trafficking-related raid on his home this past spring. It’s unclear what kind of fake it might even be. Tate is American; he was born in D.C. to champion chess player Emory Tate and a British mother, Eileen Ashleigh. He grew up in Chicago, Indiana, and eventually, Luton in the U.K. It makes sense then that Tate might have developed a hybrid inflection of some kind. But even his combo seems to change depending on his crowd. There are certainly some clips of Tate speaking in a full U.K. dialect:
Many of those clips, notably, stem from when he was boxing in the U.K. As his audience shifted westward, sometimes his accent did too, specifically to the rural South. As one interviewer put it: “Wait, is this guy from Birmingham, Alabama, or Birmingham, England?” Tate’s voice is, at the very least, a subject of inquiry on multiple subreddits. “Anyone noticed how weird of an accent Andrew Tate has?” one user asked on r/teenagers. “How tf do ppl take Andrew Tate serious with that weird ass accent 💀” said another, also on r/teenagers. A third weighed in: “Andrew Tate's accent is going to give me a brain hemorrhage.” (That one was also on r/teenagers.) The teens are wondering apparently, along with everyone else. At least one person offered an answer: “As an actual British person, i can tell you, Andrew Tate’s accent is fake.”