|Occupation||Dating Coach, Public Speaker|
|Known for||Pickup artistry, self-help|
Julien Blanc is a Swiss dating coach, pickup artist, and self-help speaker from Morges. He is an executive coach for the Los Angeles-based company Real Social Dynamics. According to an article published by Time, he describes himself as an "international leader in dating advice".
In November 2014, Blanc became the subject of multiple social media campaigns alleging that his dating advice encourages sexual violence and abuse, and involving multiple petitions on those grounds to deny him entry to several nations. On November 17, Blanc made an appearance on CNN rebutting these accusations, stating that evidence against him does not reflect his teaching, and that it was taken out of context. Blanc has formally been banned from entry to Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
Real Social Dynamics
Blanc is an instructor employed by Real Social Dynamics, a U.S.-based company which offers seminars and "boot camps" throughout the world to men seeking instruction on how to meet and seduce women. He teaches men how to have more confidence and socialize with women. According to the men's relationship advice website Dating Skills Review, Blanc began his employment at Real Social Dynamics in 2012. He is one of a number of instructors who teach the course "Real Social Dynamics Bootcamp". Blanc is the creator of video course "Pimp", consisting of over 23 videos of dating advice. "Pimp" is divided into three sections; "Female Psychology", "Inner Game" and "Outer Game". Blanc has also produced multiple other video courses focused on dating advice including "Shift", and "TenGame", and a course dedicated to self-help and life enrichment titled "Transformation Mastery" with the intended target audience to both men and women.
A seminar led by Blanc in Miami was featured in a TV documentary, The Hunt for Real Men, by the British documentary maker Tim Samuels broadcast on the Bio channel on June 27, 2014. In a later interview with BBC, Samuels described the seminar as being "in a classroom, in a hotel, with a hundred, two hundred guys who start making notes, with Julien at the front as the kind of rock star guru, people hanging on every word, and generally getting fairly practical pop psychology tips on how to approach women, what sort of conversation to make, how to project your alpha male, and a sense of self confidence."
November 2014 media scandals and appearance
On September 8, 2014, Blanc posted a video titled "White Aldiyar fucks Asian women in Tokyo (and the beautiful methods to it)" to his YouTube channel. The video, which has since been removed, shows Blanc presenting a seminar to a roomful of men. In the seminar, Blanc describes his opinion that "sub-communication," not the use of words or methods, is all that matters. He justifies this with his past experience in approaching women in Tokyo. Blanc comments that "in Tokyo, if you're a white male, you can do what you want" and “all you have to say to kinda like take the pressure off is just yell ‘Pikachu’ or ‘Pokemon’ or ‘Tamagotchi’ or something,” as he describes himself in Tokyo "romping through the streets" and "grabbing women" whilst shoving their faces in his crotch, saying "Pikachu".
In response to the video, Jennifer Li, an Asian-American woman living in Washington, D.C., initiated a campaign aimed at preventing Blanc from hosting further similar seminars, using the hashtag "#TakeDownJulienBlanc" on social media in early November 2014. Li initiated a petition on Change.org calling upon hotels and other venues to cancel his bookings and for webhosts to stop hosting Blanc's and Real Social Dynamics' websites. In an article in the British newspaper, The Independent, Li asserted that Blanc's video and other content he had posted online taught men how to assault women and that his video taught that "Asian women are a 'free for all' for predatory men," thereby encouraging men to abuse Asian women. Li also reported Blanc's video to the Japanese embassy.
Li's campaign spread quickly and led to wider criticism of Blanc's teachings. Besides the Tokyo video, Blanc's critics have noted other issues which they allege prove that Blanc promotes and teaches domestic violence and emotional abuse as a form of seduction. On one occasion Blanc posted a "Power and Control Wheel" graphic associated with the Duluth model intended to illustrate ways in which women in abusive relationships are controlled and abused by their male partners. Blanc's posting of the graphic was accompanied by the description and hashtag "May as well be a checklist.... #HowToMakeHerStay". Critics of Blanc have claimed that Blanc promotes rape and teaches men how to engage in sex with women by violating their consent and using psychological abuse and sexual violence, that he promotes the view that he and his followers are "intellectual superiors" to whom it is the role of women to subordinate themselves, and that his teachings encourage potential abusers to believe that abusive behavior towards women will not be taken seriously.
By November 6, 2014, Li's social media campaign had led to Blanc's and Real Social Dynamics events in Melbourne, Brisbane, Austin, and Seattle being shut down and in online ticketing service Eventbrite removing all Real Social Dynamics events from its site. Blanc's Instagram account was also closed, many of his YouTube videos were set to private, and some of the content from his Twitter account was removed. Scheduled "boot camps" in Japan and also in Canada were canceled by Real Social Dynamics until further notice around November 13 out of a fear that their instructor's safety could not be guaranteed.
Response by Blanc and Real Social Dynamics
In a November 17, 2014 interview on CNN, Blanc made a public apology and repudiated the accusations against him. He said that the videos were a "horrible, horrible attempt at humor" and taken out of context, denying accusations of promoting rape or of coaching clients to use domestic violence or abuse to seduce women.
Critics denounced Blanc's photos published on the internet with the "#ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld" hashtag showing him approaching women and clasping their throats as legitimizing violence and physical abuse as part of seducing women. Blanc's response was that he did place his hand around their necks but "did not physically choke them", and that his intent in posting the photos in that way was merely to "provoke a shock", and was a "horrible attempt at humor."
In response to criticism of Blanc's post of a graphic of ways in which women can be abused, Blanc denied that he used the graphic in his course or that he teaches it, instead saying "this is so far in the opposite direction of what I teach, that I stupidly thought, you know mocking it would be funny." Blanc also asserts that he teaches when to "back off". Blanc stated that he was overwhelmed by the criticisms and that he was “reevaluating everything" that he publishes on the Internet.
Real Social Dynamics co-founder Owen Cook, using the online nickname Tyler Durden, wrote on the RSD website, "I think Julien’s video was absolutely stupid," saying that the video was out of context and that Blanc had posted it for shock value, not realizing the full outcome the situation would lead to.
Responding to Blanc’s interview, Jennifer Li's impression of the apology was that "he is sorry he got caught, not for what he has done.”
Visas revoked or denied in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore
Blanc's Australian tour, which had begun in Sydney on October 29, 2014, was cut short by cancellations prompted by petitions and protests, including a protest of a seminar led by Blanc's assistant Maximilian Berger on a Melbourne River Cruises boat moored on the Yarra River in Southbank, Melbourne. The boat company cancelled the seminar booking mid-event, and local police were called in to restore order. Protesters also petitioned to have Blanc deported from Australia. Blanc's Australian visa was revoked on November 6, 2014, and the following day Victoria police confirmed that he had left Australia overnight, with his assistant scheduled to follow. Australia's Immigration minister Scott Morrison told Sky News: "This guy wasn’t putting forward political ideas, he was putting forward abuse that was derogatory to women ... those are values abhorred in this country."
An online petition to deny Blanc entry to the United Kingdom was also initiated in November. Blanc had reportedly already given a series of seminars in London during September 2014, and was scheduled for two return visits to London in late 2014 and early 2015. Alleging that permitting Blanc into the country “legitimises sexual assault and predation” and that his pick-up techniques “directly exploit vulnerable men who buy into rape culture and end up believing that this is an appropriate way to behave,” shadow home secretary (Labour) Yvette Cooper called upon Home Secretary Theresa May to deny Blanc entry to the country. Under paragraph 320 of the Immigration Rules, the Home Secretary can refuse any visa "on general grounds because of a person’s background, behaviour, character, conduct or associations." The UK denied Blanc a visa on November 19, 2014. Following the visa denial, the BBC interviewed documentary maker Tim Samuels about his perceptions of the seminar taught by Blanc featured in Samuels' documentary "The Hunt for Real Men" broadcast the previous June. Samuels said he and his team had seen nothing that "crossed the line," but that the videos and photos which later came to light had "cast a shadow" over what had seemed an essentially harmless enterprise.
An online petition campaign in Singapore resulted in a joint statement on November 26 by the Singapore's Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and its Ministry of Social and Family Development that Blanc would not be allowed into Singapore, which he had been scheduled to visit during a tour in late 2014.
Online petitions seeking to cancel seminars conducted by Blanc or other RSD coaches, or to deny entry into specific nations or cities have been launched in several other countries, including Japan, Canada, the city of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Argentina, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand. In Japan, customs officials raised the concern that Blanc had not had a proper work permit on his earlier visit to Tokyo. They stated that the crime kyōsei waisetsu, translated literally as "forcible indecency", appeared to be committed in the video but that such charges require a victim's testimony. In Germany, a press spokesman with the Green Party expressed doubt that Blanc could be prevented from entering the country, but believed that Blanc's scheduled December 2014 seminar in Munich would probably take place at a secret location. Blanc will not be blocked from entering Denmark, according to Socialdemokraterne justice spokesperson Trine Bramsen, who said that to be denied entry he "must have committed a crime or have no legal business in Denmark."
In some cases, immigration authorities have indicated an intent to deny Blanc entry into their countries apparently without having been petitioned. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry indicated that Brazil would deny him a visa if he applied for one, in spite of planned seminars in January 2015. Though Blanc was reportedly scheduled for a visit to South Korea in December 2014, the Border Control Division of the Korea Immigration Service said that Blanc would be unlikely to gain entry to the country, with an anonymous official telling South Korean journalist Lee Tae-hoon that Blanc's activities ran against the "morals and customs" of the country.
Critique of campaigns
The controversy surrounding Blanc has given rise to criticism and debates on various aspects of the social media campaign against him. Several commentators have charged that petitions calling for Blanc to be refused entry to various countries amounts to censorship and violation of free speech, or that the serious measure of denying Blanc a visa, rather than investigating his alleged crimes, is ineffective and out of proportion to the issues for which he has been criticized. Observers have also argued that the social media campaigns have been repressive and counterproductive in relation to more important feminist goals for achievement of women's equality, such as changing laws and funding women's services, or that they amount to futile attacks on the culture of young adult men such as (in the United Kingdom), laddism,
Critics of the social media campaigns against Blanc have initiated a counterpetition in his support urging nations not to deny his freedom of speech and asserting that "Denying him a visa would be an incredible injustice to a man who has committed no crimes". One of Blanc's personal assistants spoke to Newsbeat (a BBC Radio 1 programme) on November 20, 2014 asserting that Blanc's content had been misinterpreted by the media, supporting Blanc's earlier claims that his coaching content had been taken out of context.
- John R. Kennedy "RSD moves seminars to Web over fears for safety of instructors", Global News (Canada), November 13, 2014
- Gail Sullivan "‘Dating coach’ Julien Blanc kicked out of Australia for crude ‘pick-up’ schtick", The Washington Post, November 10, 2014
- Megan Gibson "Is This the Most Hated Man in the World?" Time, November 12, 2014
- Chris Cuomo "Dating coach under fire for online posts" (video interview with Julien Blanc), CNN, November 17, 2014. Note: The transcript of the interview includes content not included in the interview as broadcast.
- BBC Julien Blanc: UK denies visa to 'pick-up artist', BBC News, November 19, 2014.
- "Pick-up artist Julien Blanc blocked from entering Singapore", Channel NewsAsia, November 26, 2014.
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- Jake Adelstein "Let’s ensure no happy returns to Japan for this vile ‘dating coach’", The Japan Times, November 5, 2014
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- Afua Hirsch "Calls Grow For Britain To Ban 'Pick-Up' Coach", Sky News, November 13, 2014
- Jenn Li "Julien Blanc is a racist sexual predator teaching men to prey on women like me - and he must be stopped", The Independent (London), November 6, 2014
- Nicholas Watt, Rowena Mason and Esther Addley "Home Office minister calls for ‘pickup artist’ Julien Blanc to be denied UK visa", The Guardian, November 14, 2014
- Alexandra Topping "Julien Blanc: petition urges UK to deny visa to controversial US 'pick-up artist'", The Guardian, November 10, 2014
- Lindy West "For pick-up artists, women are targets. No wonder we don’t want to share a landmass with Julien Blanc", The Guardian, November 11, 2014
- Andy J. Semotiuk "Julien Blanc Should Be Allowed To Speak Anywhere", Forbes, November 12, 2014
- "Why are men paying to learn how to abuse women?", Channel 4 News (UK), November 12, 2014
- November 6, 2014. "More venues refuse to host pick-up artist Julien Blanc thanks to #TakeDownJulienBlanc campaign", Daily Life (Australia). On November 5, RSD said via social media that they would still be holding the seminar in Melbourne meeting at St Kilda Pier, however, did not announce the venue. Kirsty Mac, a Melbourne Comedian, called the venues near St Kilda pier until the new location was found. A protest at St Kilda pier was held and RSD followers met there. At 7.00 pm, the time the seminar was supposed to start, the RSD followers left. They had a new destination of Birth 5 Southbank on a water ferry. The protesters followed them until the boat company cancelled their booking and the Police escorted them off the boat. The following morning Victorian Ploice announced on Twitter that Julian Blanc has been escorted to the airport and had left the country. That afternoon Australia revoked Blanc's visa. November 6, 2014
- Somayya Ismailjee "Julien Blanc, the 'female attraction' expert, glorifies sexual violence.", theguardian.com, November 4, 2014.
- Lauren Gambino “Julien Blanc's apology leaves critics largely unimpressed”, The Guardian, November 18, 2014.
- Jenni Ryall "American pick-up artist dumped in Australia after using 'rape' tactics", Mashable, November 4, 2014
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- "Security Check Required".
- Tom Minear "ANGRY protesters have shut down a controversial seminar on picking up women, forcing police to clear attendees off a boat booked for the event", Herald Sun (Melbourne), November 7, 2014.
- Steve Lillebuen "Protesters scupper pick-up artist Julien Blanc's Yarra River seminar in Melbourne", The Age (Melbourne), November 7, 2014.
- Dana McCauley "Hundreds of domestic violence campaigners have signed an online petition calling for the deportation of controversial pick-up artist Julien Blanc", Herald Sun (Melbourne), November 6, 2014.
- Melissa Davey "US 'pick-up artist' Julien Blanc forced to leave Australia after visa cancelled", theguardian.com, November 7, 2014
- Ella Alexander "Julien Blanc exits Australia: 'Pick-up artist' has visa cancelled after protests against his 'abusive' dating seminars", The Independent, November 7, 2014
- Ella Alexander "Julien Blanc visited the UK before launch of petition calling for his UK entry ban, signed by over 151,000", The Independent, November 17, 2014
- Rowena Mason "Labour calls on Theresa May to block Julien Blanc visit to UK", The Guardian, November 14, 2014
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- "S'porean woman starts online petition against 'pick-up artist'", Today Online (Singapore), November 17, 2014.
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- Julian Ryall, "Japan may bar Julien Blanc, who teaches how to aggressively pick up women", South China Morning Post, November 15, 2014
- Rebecca Zamon, “RSD Canadian Dates Removed From Website After Julien Blanc Petition Grows”, Huffington Post Canada, November 11, 2014.
- Martin Van Dun, "Petitie om vrouwonvriendelijke datingcoaches uit Amsterdam te weren", Het Parool (Amsterdam), November 14, 2014.
- Jimena Sabbag, "Argentina se suma al repudio mundial a Julien Blanc" Archived 2014-11-21 at the Wayback Machine, Notas (Argentina), November 18, 2014.
- Sunna Kristín Hilmarsdóttir "Sagður bera út boðskap um hvernig beita eigi konur ofbeldi"
- Bjárki Ármannsson, "Þúsundir mótmæla komu Julien Blanc til Íslands"
- Dean Van Nguyen "Online campaign started to deny ‘pick-up artist’ Julien Blanc an Irish visa" =, siliconrepublic (Dublin), November 19, 2014.
- Shay Meinecke and Chiponda Chimbelu,"Activists call for 'sexist' pickup artist Julien Blanc to be banned from Germany". Deutsche Welle, November 19, 2014.
- Poul Høi, "Verdens mest hadede mand på vej til Danmark", Berlingske (Copenhagen), November 21, 2014.
- Ossi Carp, "Bannlyst 'raggningskurs' på väg till Sverige", Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm), November 23, 2014.
- Cook, Francis (2016-01-18). "Deported 'pick-up artist' could be refused entry to NZ". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "Stop sexist 'Pick Up Artists' from holding a seminar in NZ". ActionStation. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Magnus Strøyer Rasmussen,"Controversial 'pick-up artist' to be allowed entry into Denmark", The Copenhagen Post, November 27, 2014.
- Tokarnia, Mariana (November 14, 2014). "Brazil to deny visa to US citizen Julien Blanc". Livre Imprensa. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- Mariana Tokarnia "Brazil to deny visa to US citizen Julien Blanc", EBC Agência Brasil (Brazil), November 14, 2014
- Lee Tae-hoon "Korea to deny entry to pickup artist Julien Blanc", The Korea Observer, November 13, 2014
- Martin Daubney, "Is Change.org just a weapon of censorship?" Daily Telegraph, November 14, 2014.
- Dorian Lynskey, "Hashtag hate campaigns are leading us into the trap of censorship", The Guardian, November 17, 2014.
- Marina Hyde "Shutting our shores is not the way to silence misogyny or avert terrorism", The Guardian, November 14, 2014.
- Rahila Gupta, "Is denying a visa to Julien Blanc the wrong strategy?" Open Democracy, November 17, 2014.
- Julie Bindel, "Feminism is in danger of becoming toxic", The Guardian, November 18, 2014.
- Emma Teitel, "Is pickup artist Julien Blanc a threat to women? The call to keep a pickup artist out of Canada stokes flames feminists want to extinguish", Maclean's, November 20, 2014.
- Alison Phipps, "Getting rid of Dapper Laughs and Julien Blanc is not enough if laddism continues to flourish", The Conversation, November 14, 2014.
- Martin Daubney, "'Lads' have become the most hated people in Britain". The Telegraph, November 20, 2014.
- "'My friend Julien Blanc is misunderstood'", BBC, November 20, 2014