Broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer has attempted to justify her attack on Greta Thunberg after appearing to side with controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate after the pair’s Twitter beef.
Last week, Thunberg, the 19-year-old Swedish environmentalist, won plaudits for her response to Tate’s trolling.
Tate tweeted Thunberg directly on Tuesday to tell her: “I have 33 cars.”
He then explained in detail how large his car engines are, before adding: “This is just the start.
“Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”
Below, he added a compilation of clips showing himself in different high-emission modes of transport – from planes to boats and cars – cut with a highly emotive speech from Thunberg, calling out the world’s inaction on climate change.
“Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at [email protected]talife.com,” she tweeted back.
As their back and forth continued, Tate on Thursday was detained in Romania as part of a human-trafficking and rape investigation.
Before the arrest, Talk TV’s Hartley-Brewer had weighed in, offering her opinion on their spat.
She tweeted: “I’d choose Andrew Tate’s life *every single time* over the life of a half-educated, autistic, doom-mongering eco-cultist. And the only car I own is a diesel Tiguan.”
Hartley-Brewer later deleted the post in favour of a reworded version with the word “autistic” removed.
She said at the time: “I’ve deleted my previous tweet that mentioned Greta’s autism because – although I only referred to it because she states it in her own Twitter biog – people decided to take offence at a fact. Even though they had no problem with this woman calling a man ‘small dick’. Yawn.”
And on her Talk TV show on Tuesday, she attempted to make clear she was not a fan of Tate’s.
She said: “Lots of tweets said I should be sacked but what I loved was people saying, ‘You’re taking the side of your hero Andrew Tate.’
“Um, a) a man I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted about, ever spoken about on air. Of course, I’ve heard of him, I didn’t know the full horrors of the things he was … because I don’t take any interest … he’s just a sort of malign sort of influencer figure, I don’t have any interest in Kim Kardashian either, and he’s a nasty piece of work.
“Do I think that women should go anywhere near him? No, I think he’s horrible – I don’t have any interest in him, though.
“But I thought Greta’s response to him was really tacky and I thought rather beneath her. And again, what’s funny is that … ‘why did you, why did you say autistic?’
“I said, ’well actually I deleted that because I realised it was being taken … and I genuinely did not mean … I don’t think saying someone’s autistic, if you’re genuinely autistic, if you’re saying someone who’s not autistic is autistic and using it as an insult then that is, that is being derogatory and offensive.”
She added: “She is autistic, she’s proudly autistic, she’s talked about it being her gift and being indeed her superpower and indeed it was her mental health problems as well as being autistic as she was later diagnosed, which her parents sort of felt her eco-fanaticism and these school strikes and the like, was her route out of, you know she had these sort of, she had an eating disorder, she was a selective mute.
“She had many, many, many issues. I mean really, really, very troubled little girl as she was then. She’s now a young woman at the age of 19 and so she uses the word autistic as the first describer of herself in her (Twitter) biog, proudly.
“So I, I genuinely … I mean genuinely, you’ve met me, if I had a history of using this as an insult … It would be all over Twitter, I’d have done it a million times. I don’t because I don’t do things like that. But I realised it was, ‘ah look, it’s been taken the wrong way, I can see how it has been, so I deleted it’.”
Hartley-Brewer finished by saying: “But then you have people saying ‘why did you delete it’ even though I’d flagged up that I’d deleted this tweet I wasn’t trying to hide it. But if I hadn’t deleted it, people would’ve said should delete it. You’re in this no-win situation aren’t you?”
Who is Andrew Tate?
A British citizen who was born in the US, Tate has won world titles for his professional kickboxing career.
In 2016 he was a contestant on British TV show Big Brother, but he had to be removed when a video surfaced of him appearing to attack a woman.
Tate said at the time that the video was edited, and was “a total lie, trying to make me look bad”.
He then built up his presence online, and was banned by Twitter in 2017 after he claimed women should “bear responsibility” when sexually assaulted.
He was subsequently banned by YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok too over his misogynistic views, although his supporters continued to post content with his name in the hashtag. Tate also maintained his fanbase by posting his divisive views on other sites instead.
There have been widespread concerns over the impact his online presence may have on younger generations, particularly men. He has described himself as the “king of masculinity”, but denies holding misogynistic views.
Since Elon Musk took over the platform, Tate has returned to Twitter – which is how he came to be involved in one of the most liked tweets of all time.
Romanian prosecutors have reportedly been granted permission to detain Tate for 30 days.
He was arrested late on Thursday with his brother Tristan and two other Romanian suspects after a raid on his house in Bucharest.