Tate, a social media influencer who is often known for his controversial views, sent a public tweet to the environmental campaigner on Tuesday (27 December).
In the tweet, he asked Thunberg to offer her comments on the carbon emissions of his cars.
“I have 33 cars,” he began, before listing the specifications for his fleet of Bugatti and Ferraris.
“This is just the start,” Tate, 36, continued. “Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions.”
Tate’s attempt to bait Thunberg into a conversation about the environmental impact of his many vehicles resulted in the climate campaigner responding publicly on Wednesday (29 December).
In the reply, Thunberg replied with a brutal response, delighting her followers.
On Twitter, she replied: “Yes, please do enlighten me. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Tate later responded: “How dare you?!”
While many of Thunberg’s followers showed their support for the campaigner on Twitter, Julia Hartley-Brewer tweeted in support of Tate, and has since been accused of ableism.
The now-deleted tweet published by Hartley-Brewer read: “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.”
Commentators including Guardian columnist Owen Jones have called out Hartley-Brewer for using the word autistic as an “insult” against Thunberg.
Jones tweeted: “Julia Hartley-Brewer deleted her tweet in which she spat out ‘autistic’ as an insult, but the internet never forgets.”
He continued: “Just like Tate, it must really rile Hartley-Brewer that this 19 year old autistic woman has achieved so much.”
Another person wrote, in response to Hartley-Brewer: “Hi Julia. It’s a shame you deleted this, but I am going to save it and show my eight-year-old autistic son that he can achieve whatever the f*** he wants in life in spite of prominent media figures using his gift as a slur whenever it suits their agenda.”
Hartley-Brewer addressed the controversial tweet on Thursday (29 December), by republishing the initial statement with the word “autistic” now removed.
She explained: “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.”
She added: “Even though they had no problem with this woman calling a man ‘small d***’. Yawn.”
One commentator responded to Hartley-Brewer’s explanation: “Seems to be some confusion on here. If you want to use autism in a positive / factual sense, you say things like ‘she is autistic’ or ‘autism helps her in some respects more than others.’ If you chuck ‘autistic’ between a load of other insults, it’s an insult. Hope that helps.”
The Independent has contacted Julia Hartley-Brewer via TalkTV for comment.