Over the past few days, Andrew Tate—the ex-boxer and self-help guru who gained popularity on TikTok for making videos in which he states that rape victims are partly to blame for their own rape and women should serve men—has been banned on several social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok because his misogynistic comments violated those companies’ policies. But before he was banned from those sites, he reportedly sent a direct message trying to connect with a college gymnast, who later posted the one-sided exchange.
On TikTok, Olivia Dunne, a gymnast at Louisiana State University, shared a screenshot of an Instagram DM from @cobratate, a verified account that was associated with Tate. The message, which @cobratate sent on July 29, read, “Come to Europe dear 🌹.”
Dunne did not accept or respond to the message, according to the posted screenshot.
In the video, Dunne lip-syncs to an audio clip from The Wendy Williams show in which Williams reacts to something she saw in the audience. She moves off-camera long enough to allow viewers to look at the screenshot before returning on-camera with her mouth covered.
“It’s a no from me dawg,” she wrote as the video’s caption.
@livvy It’s a no from me dawg #foryou #andrewtate ♬ what the fuck was that – champagnemami
Her video got mixed reactions from viewers. Some people posted similar-sounding comments to his message, but with different locations instead of Europe partly to make fun of the post. At least one person questioned the authenticity of the screenshot, which Dunne said she couldn’t screen capture because of Tate’s banned account. But others were split on whether it was a dunk on Tate or the fact that Dunne shared the message at all was a “win” for Tate; a recent investigation from the U.K. publication The Observer found that part of Tate’s rise to popularity involved taking the most incendiary of Tate’s comments that promoted misogynistic viewpoints and toxic masculinity, posting them online, and waiting for people who took offense to help spread the videos. She also received some sympathetic comments.
“GIRL NOOOOO,” Indiana Massara wrote.
When one person suggested that Dunne give Tate “some bath water,” Dunne replied,” He’s not worthy.”
We reached out to Dunne’s representatives for comment.
Tate told NBC News that he’s playing an “online character,” that he has “many videos praising women,” and that “It has nothing to do with hate for women. It’s simply about good and bad people.” He also called his mother a hero.
His Twitter account was permanently suspended in 2017, but most of his account bans and removals have occurred more recently.
“Our investigation into this content is ongoing, and we continue to remove violative accounts and videos that promote misogyny and other hateful behavior,” a TikTok spokesperson told the Washington Post.