Julien Blanc: petition calls for UK ban on 'pick-up artist'

12/11/14

Julien Blanc
Image caption Julien Blanc's group Real Social Dynamics claims to be the world's largest dating company

Ten of thousands of names have been put to an online petition urging the Home Office to ban Julien Blanc from entering the UK.

The American is a self proclaimed 'pick-up artist' who holds seminars across the world claiming to teach men how to attract women.

But critics say his methods are sexually abusive.

Blanc had to cut his Australian tour short last week because his visa was cancelled following protests there.

His UK tour is due to start in February 2015.

On its website, Blanc's company Real Social Dynamics, calls itself "the world's largest dating coaching company".

It promises customers the chance to "witness dating coaches attract beautiful women in live demonstrations".

Julien Blanc
Image caption Julien Blanc giving a dating seminar

But videos and pictures of Blanc in action suggest he encourages men to harass women with the aim of having sex with them.

In one seminar Blanc is filmed advising a room of men on how to "pick up" girls in Japan.

"At least in Tokyo, if you're a white male, you can do what you want," he says in the video.

"I'm romping through the street just grabbing girls. It's awesome."

In the same video he's then seen approaching girls seemingly at random and forcing their heads down towards his crotch.

It's resulted in a growing backlash in the UK as his tour dates edge closer.

Newsbeat has tried to contact Julien Blanc's company Real Social Dynamics but we are yet to receive a reply.

Caroline Charles who started the online petition urging the Home Office to stop him entering the country said: "Julien Blanc dresses up his seminars as dating advice, which at best is disingenuous - he focuses on tricking women into having sex, in order to make money.

"It is wrong on every level - it is promoting violence against women and girls, it takes advantage of men and it sends a message to survivors of sexual assault that they will not be listened to."

The campaign against Blanc is spreading across social media too.

Since the weekend Twitter users have begun sharing pictures of him with his hand around the throats of women that he has shared using the hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld.

Picture of Julien Blanc seemingly choking a girl in the street as part of his "pick up" technique

It's not just the UK where opposition to Blanc's world tour is growing.

The hashtag #KeepJulienBlancOutOfCanada began circulating on Twitter last week after it was revealed he planned to visit the North American country next year.

The campaign received support from Canada's Citizen and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who tweeted that he would consider following in the footsteps of Australia and deny him a visa.

Tweets from Canada's Citizen and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander

Newsbeat has contacted the UK Home Office to ask them about the petition, but they've told us they don't comment on individual cases.

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