What is The Matrix Andrew Tate and Logan Paul keep talking about?

Video and words by Jocelyn Evans, ITV News' Here's The Story

Since Andrew Tate was arrested at the end of December, his Twitter account has shared at least 14 references to The Matrix.

One of those is a retweet of Elon Musk, another a reply to social media star Logan Paul.

So what is The Matrix and why do these three, and many others, keep talking about it?

The simple answer is, it's a 1999 sci-fi film by creators Lilly and and Lana Wachowski about a simulated reality (called The Matrix) controlled by machines to trap humans.

The film was, and remains, a huge hit - with people jumping on the allegory to show how it's a critique of capitalism, our current systems, and all other manner of inequality.

Why's a 1999 film resurfacing now?

Following his arrest in Romania on December 29, the account of influencer Andrew Tate 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" it.

A self-proclaimed misogynist, Tate's rise to fame has been rapid over the past year and his downfall dramatic.

The 36-year-old has been charged with being part of an organised crime group, human trafficking and rape.

Andrew Tate's not, however, the only social media giant to cite The Matrix.

YouTuber Logan Paul tweeted on January 10: "the matrix is real. pray you never become its target [sic]".

While Twitter's owner, Elon Musk, shared a meme of a character from the movie alongside a quote. The image retweeted by Andrew Tate's account.

What does Andrew Tate mean by The Matrix?

When Andrew Tate incites The Matrix, he's suggesting it is the powers that be that target, what he would call, free thinkers (and speakers) like himself.

The influencer has often taken aim at politicians, the media, and large corporations as "agents of The Matrix", and would likely cite his mass ban from all the major social media platforms as an example.

For many who follow him, the idea of escaping The Matrix is about seeing the world "as it really is" and achieving success (and money) from doing so.

This is what Andrew Tate encourages his followers to reach for.

Is that really what The Matrix is all about?

A clear critique of that view is that Andrew Tate, Logan Paul and Elon Musk (all of whom have referenced The Matrix) are all very wealthy men.

Many would argue all three have benefitted from the current system (a capitalist one) in order to make their money.

Fans of the movies say it is, therefore, not a narrative for individuals like Andrew Tate to claim - as the film is explicitly anti-capitalist.

The creators of the film have also come out and explicitly said the movie is about being trans.

Writers and directors Lilly and and Lana Wachowski are both trans women.

Lilly Wachowski told Netflix Film in 2020: "I'm glad that people are talking about The Matrix movies with a trans narrative".

"The Matrix is all about a desire for transformation, but from a closeted point of view. The character of Switch was a man in the real world, and a woman in The Matrix," she said.

Wachowski said that in 1999 "the world wasn't quite ready at a corporate level" for seeing the film as a trans allegory.

For many, who see people like Andrew Tate as a figurehead in incel culture, this puts The Matrix at odds with the messages he and his followers espouse.