Banned: 'Pick up artist' Jeff Allen. Photo: via Change.org
Hotels chain Vibe Hotels have cancelled bookings for the Australian seminar tour by notorious pick-up artist Jeff 'Jeffy' Allen following pressure from local activist groups.
Allen - a colleague of Julien Blanc, who had his visa revoked in the middle of a similar tour in 2014 - and his group Real Social Dynamics (RSD) have been the focus of an online campaign looking to block his classes, which activists say "promotes sexism and violence against women" and teach men how to "seduce" women through harassment and intimidation
Earlier this week, Allen and his group - who'd planned a series of classes in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this month - had publicly stated that they'd cancelled their tour, but pictures posted to Instagram by attendees noted a seminar had gone ahead secretly at a Vibe hotel in Sydney.
Following pressure from online commenters questioning the hotel chain's motivation in allowing events that "promote physical and emotional violence against women" to be held in its rooms, Vibe yesterday tweeted that they'd looked into the situation and discovered that Allen and RSD had booked the events under a pseudonym, and they'd been subsequently cancelled.
@MelTankardReist TFE Hotels has learnt RSD booked events at Vibe Hotels under another name & has cancelled any further events at all hotels— Vibe Hotels (@vibehotels) January 18, 2016
"We found out they were booking under a different name and we ordered the hotel to cancel their booking and sent an announcement to hotel managers to look out for any of these bookings and cancel them," a spokesperson for TFE, the hotel chain that runs Vibe, told BuzzFeed News.
Supporters online praised the company's decision:
Activists are now waiting to see whether Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will take a similar stand.
The original Change.org petition calling on the minister to revoke Allen's visa has amassed over 66,000 signatures since being launched on Saturday.