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Dec 27, 2022-2022

Online, Sweden

Greta Thunberg Twitter response to Andrew Tate



Greta Thunberg


Andrew Tate


Gender-based violence and harassment should not be accepted.


Issue and Opponent: Machismo and climate denial, as well as an alliance with the fossil fuel industry, is a package deal for the right. Andrew Tate, a former kickboxer is infamous for his far-right and misogynistic opinions, which previously led him to be banned from Twitter in 2017 after he stated that women ‘bear responsibility’ for being sexually assaulted. Tate has since been reinstated on Twitter but remains banned on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Greta Thunberg has been made a hero for her climate activism, prompting the sorts of conversations the energy industry spends millions trying to quell. The kind of harassment and abuse she has been subjected to because of her gender has made her a feminist icon, too. Elon Musk reinstated Tate’s Twitter account in November after he took over the company, giving way to an encounter with the climate activist when he tried to make fun of her.
Dilemma Action: On 27 December, former kickboxer, professional misogynist, and online entrepreneur Andrew Tate, 36, sent a boastfully hostile tweet to climate activist Greta Thunberg, 19, about his sports car collection. Tate tweeted the Swedish climate activist boasting about his 33 cars and their “enormous emissions”. Thunberg wasted no time in responding. Her reply, “Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at smalldickenergy@getalife.com”, gained traction to quickly become one of the top 10 tweets of all time; it’s been liked 3.5 million times and shared directly 650,000 or so, and the interchange became the topic of countless news stories around the world, from India to Australia. Thunberg’s takedown stung Tate, who 10 hours later tweeted out a pompous video in which he tried to reassert his masculinity and status by blathering on in a dressing gown, with a cigar and a pizza box as props. The Romanian-brand pizza box in his video helped cue police to his location, although the authorities have thrown doubt on that. Thunberg drily tweeted the morning of the 30th: “This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes,” mocking her earnest public image. So far it has 2.6 million likes. This isn’t the first time the 19-year-old has beaten the trolls at their own game, she responded to Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, among other politicians and celebrities.
Outcome: Thunberg’s funny exchange is a reminder of the connection between machismo, misogyny, and hostility to climate action. The incident even led to his detention in Romania on charges of human trafficking and rape. Some media affirm that his detention would not have attracted so much attention if it had not been for the video he published in response to Thunberg. A court in Bucharest, Romania upheld the 30-day arrest, rejecting Tate’s appeal against a judge’s earlier decision to extend his arrest from 24 hours to 30 days. Romanian police raided seven homes as part of their investigation into Tate and seized all his luxury cars on January 14th.


Accountability / Corruption
Civil Rights and Equality


Banners/posters/displayed communications

Symbolic reclamations



9 / 12

(CONC) Concessions were made

(MC) Media Coverage

(MSYMP) Media coverage was sympathetic to the activists

(OR) Opponent response

(PS) Dilemma action built sympathy with the public

(PUN) Punishment favored the activists

(REFR) Dilemma action reframed the narrative of the opponent

(SA) Dilemma action appealed to a broad segment of the public



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Euronews Green. 2022. “Greta Thunberg vs Andrew Tate: 6 times the Swedish climate activist out-trolled the Twitter trolls.” Euronews Green, December 30. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/12/30/greta-thunberg-vs-andrew-tate-6-times-the-swedish-climate-activist-out-trolled-the-twitter

Solnit, Rebecca. 2022. “Greta Thunberg ends year with one of the greatest tweets in history.” The Guardian, December 31. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/31/greta-thunberg-andrew-tate-tweet

O’Malley, Katie. 2022. “Greta Thunberg Responds To Andrew Tate Arrest With Cheeky Pizza Recycling Dig.” Elle, December 30. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/culture/a42368491/greta-thunberg-andrew-tate-response-pizza-boxes/

Mollman, Steve. 2022. “Gen Z climate activist Greta Thunberg’s putdown of macho troll Andrew Tate has quickly become one of the most-liked tweets ever.” Fortune, December 31. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://fortune.com/2022/12/31/gen-z-climate-activist-greta-thunbergs-putdown-of-macho-troll-andrew-tate-has-quickly-become-one-of-the-most-liked-tweets-ever/

Nooman, Noor. 2022. “Greta Thunberg’s Andrew Tate smackdown is just the tip of a disgusting iceberg.” MSNBC, December 30. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/andrew-tate-vs-greta-thunberg-twitter-fight-tip-iceberg-rcna63769

The Damage Report. 2022. “Andrew Tate GOES DOWN After Brutal Greta Thunberg Mistake.” YouTube, December 30. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JEhwgc5frQ

Walker, Shaun, Kari Paul and Dan Milmo. 2022. “Andrew Tate put in 30-day pre-trial detention in Romania after arrest.” The Guardian, December 30. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/30/andrew-tate-detained-in-romania-on-organised-and-charges

Wright, George and Matt Murphy. 2022. “Andrew Tate detained in Romania over rape and human trafficking case.” BBC, December 30. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-64122628

Weatherbed, Jess. 2023. “Court upholds arrest of Andrew Tate.” The Verge, January 11. Retrieved July 22, 2023. https://www.theverge.com/2023/1/11/23549816/andrew-tate-arrest-human-trafficking-investigation-romania

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