The former Fox News host, who now uploads a new series he calls Tucker on Twitter, sat down with the controversial social media influencer, who was arrested and charged with rape, human trafficking and leading an organised crime group to sexually exploit women in Romania.
The extensive interview, Carlson’s first on his new show that is on its ninth episode, has raked in millions of views hours after it was uploaded.
Carlson, who previously defended Mr Tate and called his arrest a “human rights violation”, has sparked outrage by giving a platform to the controversial influencer without proper scrutiny or contextualisation.
The right-wing TV personality kicked off the interview by asking viewers to “make up your own mind” about Mr Tate, who has defended himself and denied the charges against him.
The former kickboxer and social media influencer, who gained notoriety over the years for peddling misogynistic views, was held in police custody from 29 December until 31 March by Romanian authorities before being put on house arrest.
His brother Tristan and two of their associates also face charges.
Given the widespread allegations against Mr Tate, the decision to host the British-American has drawn criticism from various quarters, ranging from media personalities and journalists and including conservative commentators as well.
DailyBeast reporter Justin Baragona weighed in on the interview, calling Mr Tate “an unapologetic pornographer”.
“After lamenting about how young men are now withdrawing into porn, Tucker Carlson then proceeds to sympathetically interview an unapologetic pornographer – for two and a half hours!” he said.
“Two and a half hours defending & singing the praises of an accused rapist and human trafficker. So brave,” said Joe Walsh, a former 2020 Republican presidential candidate.
American conservative talk radio host Erick Ericson said Mr Tate is charged with rape, human trafficking, and forming an organised crime group to sexually exploit women.
“Are you an Andrew Tate right winger or a Sound of Freedom right winger. You can’t really be both,” he said.
HuffPost correspondent SV Dáte called out Carlson for “glorifying an accused rapist/human trafficker”.
“Not going to waste 2.5 hours of my life on these two, can someone tell me if Tucker asked Tate his opinion of Sound of Freedom,” said The Spectator’s editor-at-large Ben Domenech.
Elon Musk also tweeted about the interview, calling it “interesting”.
The Twitter chief was called out for his tweet supporting the Fox News anchor by Ahmed Baba, an entrepreneur and journalist who is also a columnist for The Independent.
“This is why millions of people are leaving Twitter,” he said, calling out Mr Musk for promoting the interview between Carlson, who he said pushed “white supremacist rhetoric”, while calling Mr Tate a “misogynist influencer”.
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