A ladies man is supposed to be charming and charismatic. However, Julien Blanc, who has carved out a niche for himself as a dating coach and PUA (i.e. “pick-up artist”), is anything but. His tactics have gained him a significant amount of Internet notoriety, and have most recently drawn the ire of more than 36,000 people who have signed a petition demanding he be denied access to Japan.
They aren’t alone. A similar online campaign in Australia has prompted that country’s immigration minister to cancel his visa and cut short the string of dating seminars he had booked there.
But what has prompted all this vitriol? It’s not merely the misogyny inherent in Blanc’s business model—he appears in ads wearing T-shirts that say “diss fatties, bang hotties,” and organizes “boot camps” that teach “PUAs” how to “game” women, whom he calls “targets.” This aggressive language extends to Blanc’s practices. Local reporters highlighted a video of his last Tokyo visit, where Blanc used racist pickup lines about Pickachu before grabbing “Japanese women and… apparently sexually assaulting some of them.” You can see the (unsettling) video here, accompanied by a curious range of comments from users of the forum site 2ch.
While Blanc has not been formerly charged with a crime, Japanese authorities say there are grounds to deny his entry. For example, he would have been violating the terms of a tourist visa by offering a seminar while on his previous visit. But, as sources explained to The Japan Times, “(Blanc) could also be investigated for simple assault and/or obstruction of business, for grabbing a convenience store employee and forcibly kissing her and holding onto her.”
Blanc’s biggest detractor is looking to make it more difficult for the self-styled pickup master to spread his gospel. Jenn Li started the #TakeDownJulienBlanc hashtag after seeing his clips about Japanese women and his abusive #ChokingGirlsAroundtheWorld series of videos. She hopes her campaign will compel venues to cancel his gigs. In a recent editorial she called Blanc a “sh*tbag,” and noted his fans have trolled her online and threatened to rape her. She also wrote: “Support for my campaign has overshadowed them by far… Blanc is going to Tokyo… (let’s) stop him before he starts assaulting the women there again.”
You can find out more about the campaign, and visit the Change.org petition, which hit 40,000 signatures so far as of November 10.
Image: Daily Life