One of the first things you learn in an introductory video for Andrew Tate’s “Hustlers University 2.0,” his suite of courses that thousands of people pay a monthly subscription fee for, is that his two favorite things seem to be making money and emotional manipulation.
“You’re in the most fantastic place on the planet for making money, Hustlers University, and the only person who could ruin that is you,” the controversial influencer shouts, as he struts in front of his red Aston Martin Vanquish, blue Rolls-Royce Wraith, and white Porsche 911, luxury sports cars with a collective retail value of over $750,000. Dressed in a leather jacket, Tate holds a coffee in one hand and uses the other to gesture at the camera. “Most of you are happy to be losers part time,” he declares. “You want to escape. That’s why you joined. You don’t want to be a loser anymore.”
Tate goes on to talk repeatedly about the need to “escape the matrix” — part of his worldview that a job makes you, as he calls it, a “peon” or a “wage slave brokie.” Four other luxury cars, including one of his beloved Bugattis, appear in the video’s background, a hint for viewers about what may be possible if they just follow Tate’s directions.
While red pilling, also drawn from The Matrix, has been part of the cultural lexicon for the last several years, now adherents of Tate have coalesced in one place and are seemingly more intent than ever on “escaping the matrix.” They have come to believe he, the school, and “Tateism” — think pro-capitalism and pro-hypermasculinity — hold the answers on how to find freedom from societal slavery. That includes financial independence, but also a rejection of modern progressive politics. And the Hustlers University 2.0 program was designed, through its affiliate program, to effectively spread that messaging all across the social media channels where dissatisfied young men dwell. (BuzzFeed News reached out to Tate’s representative with detailed questions for this story. They responded saying they were unable to reach him for comment.)
While for many, Tate, with his overt displays of wealth and misogynist language, appeared seemingly out of nowhere this summer, he’s actually been steadily growing his following over the past couple of years. After first appearing on Big Brother in 2016, the former professional kickboxer built a small empire marketing himself as the “Top G” and selling online courses at $500 each. The 11 courses were aimed at helping men become better at dating, such as the “Pimpin Hoe Degree” and “Instagram Playbook,” similar in style to the pickup artists of the early 2000s. Those courses have been removed from his website and can no longer be purchased.
According to Tate’s website, he founded Hustlers University 2.0 in 2021. BuzzFeed News enrolled in the online Discord network, called “campuses,” in August, just as Tate had been deplatformed from social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. For $49.99 a month, users have access to the Discord and to video lessons purportedly teaching money-making methods like investing in cryptocurrency, offering copywriting services to businesses, and setting up your own e-commerce and Amazon stores. Sprinkled in with the business advice is the same anti-LGBTQ and anti-women rhetoric that Tate has become known for.
Despite being deplatformed on nearly every major social media site, Tate can still influence followers via Hustlers University 2.0 — and he seemingly makes millions of dollars a month doing so. Who are the students? Hundreds of thousands of people, predominantly men, some who say they’re as young as 13 years old. These students try to motivate each other to become just like Tate, a successful entrepreneur whose main product is himself.