Since Andrew Tate was arrested in late December, his Twitter account has shared at least 14 references to The Matrix.
One is a retweet from Elon Musk, another is a reply to social media star Logan Paul.
So what is “Matrix” and why do these three and many others keep talking about it?
The simple answer is: It’s a 1999 sci-fi film from creators Lilly and Lana Wachowski about a simulated reality (dubbed The Matrix) controlled by machines to trap humans.
The film was and is a huge hit – with people jumping on the allegory to show it’s a critique of capitalism, our current systems, and all other kinds of inequality.
Why is a 1999 film making a comeback now?
After his arrest in Romania on December 29, influencer Andrew Tate’s account shared this tweet: “The Matrix sent their agents.”
The account has continued to share unsubstantiated claims about “The Matrix” — from Tate being the victim of an attack to encouraging others to “escape” him.
A self-proclaimed misogynist, Tate has risen to fame quickly over the past year and his decline has been dramatic.
The 36 year old was charged with membership in an organized crime group, human trafficking and rape.
However, Andrew Tate isn’t the only social media giant to quote The Matrix.
YouTuber Logan Paul tweeted on Jan. 10, “The Matrix is real. Pray you never become their target [sic]”.
While Twitter owner Elon Musk shared a meme of a character from the film alongside a quote. The picture was retweeted from Andrew Tate’s account.
What does Andrew Tate mean by “Matrix”?
When Andrew Tate goads The Matrix, he suggests that it’s the powers that be that aim for what he would call free thinkers (and speakers) like himself.
The influencer has often targeted politicians, the media and large corporations as “matrix agents” and probably would do so An example is his mass ban from all major social media platforms.
For many who follow him, the idea of escaping the Matrix is about seeing the world “as it really is” and making success (and money) from it.
This is what Andrew Tate encourages his followers to do.
Is that really what The Matrix is about?
A clear criticism of this view is that Andrew Tate, Logan Paul and Elon Musk (who have all referenced The Matrix) are all very wealthy men.
Many would argue that all three have benefited from the current system (a capitalist one) to make their living.
Fans of the film say it is therefore not a narrative that the likes of Andrew Tate could claim – as the film is explicitly anti-capitalist.
The film’s creators have also come out and specifically said that the film is about being trans.
Writers and directors Lilly and Lana Wachowski are both trans women.
Lilly Wachowski told Netflix Film in 2020, “I’m glad people are talking about the Matrix movies with a trans narrative.”
“The Matrix is all about the desire to transform, but from a closed perspective. The character of Switch was a man in the real world and a woman in ‘The Matrix,'” she said.