A change.org petition has been launched to stop 'pick-up artist' Julien Blanc from holding an upcoming seminar in Melbourne.
Blanc, a 25-year-old self-described "executive dating coach" was scheduled to speak at the Como Hotel on Thursday night, where he is expected to address an audience with advice on how to meet women and become "sex-worthy".
The seminar is part of a promotional tour held by Real Social Dynamics, a dating company co-founded by Blanc and his business partners Owen Cook and Nick Kho. A similar talk has already taken place in Sydney earlier this week.
Blanc is known to charge up to $3000 to teach men how to "master the game" of picking up attractive women. Many have spoken out on social media against his sexist and misogynistic approach to women, offended by his at times violent and abusive tactics, including one 'pick-up opener' where he chokes random female strangers before hushing them, in order to get their attention.
"Shhhhh..." #ChokeOpener #Oslo #Norway http://t.co/dQQw9Gl83h pic.twitter.com/731PNCEmCZ — RSD Julien (@RSDJulien) October 10, 2014
Besides encouraging his clients to overlook a woman's relationship status ("I never care what their situation is"), Blanc also once tweeted a chart detailing the different forms of physical and emotional abuse under the hashtag #howtomakeherstay.
May as well be a checklist... #HowToMakeHerStay http://t.co/tIyr9DJXMt pic.twitter.com/TOSFIfyPf3 — RSD Julien (@RSDJulien) September 13, 2014
Concerned by the misogynistic approach of Blanc's seminars, change.org member Jennifer Li launched a public petition asking owners of The Como Hotel to cancel Thursday night's talk.
"Julien Blanc is a sexist and racist "pick up artist," who has made a living by teaching men how to violate women through physical and emotional abuse.
"Do not associate your hotel's good name with a man who chokes women around the world as part of his pick up game. Please stand with the women of Australia and women everywhere, and do not host an event where men are being taught how to violate and harass women," writes Li.
Li also points to a recent Youtube clip of Blanc, titled 'White Male F--ks Asian Women In Tokyo (And The Beautiful Methods To It)", during which he describes how to get away with indecent assault in Tokyo:
"Whenever I go to a new country, I just learn five words: I love you, darling, sorry, shy, dog. And you can pretty much 'game' a girl just with that," says Blanc.
"We got there the first night and [my friend] is like, 'Dude, just grab her'... So I pull her in, she kind of laughs and giggles. You know, all you have to say to take the pressure off is just yell, "Pikachu or Pokemon or Tamagochi" or something.
"At least in Tokyo, if you're a white male, you can do what you want... I'm just romping through the streets, just grabbing girls' heads, just like, head, pfft on the dick. Head, on the dick, yelling, 'pikachu,' with a pikachu shirt...It's awesome."
The petition has gained over 6,400 signatures and sparked hundreds of tweets under the hashtag #TakeDownJulienBlanc. At the time of writing, the Como Melbourne Hotel has yet to issue an official response.
Check out #takedownjulienblanc and sign the petition tonight! — Hollaback! (@iHollaback) November 3, 2014
#takedownjulienblanc Julien Blanc or how to be racist , misogynist , sexist and a rapist at the same time. — Elsaaaaaa (@OddElsaaaa) November 3, 2014
People defending him by playing the Freedom of Speech card? He is PHYSICALLY ASSAULTING people. FoS is not the issue #takedownjulienblanc — Sarah Jane Mason (@S_J_Mason) November 3, 2014
This typeface might be the most incredible part of Julien's website. #takedownjulienblanc pic.twitter.com/x5YHNaiqyE — Jesse Thompson (@jethom17) November 3, 2014
6477 individuals have signed this petition asking @ComoMelbourne to #takedownjulienblanc... management still silent https://t.co/OxwrVTPq7W — Destroy The Joint (@JointDestroyer) November 3, 2014
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who have signed the change.org petition and reached out to Como Melbourne via social media. Como Melbourne has announced on Twitter that it will no longer be hosting Julien Blanc's seminar on Thursday night.
Following an objective review, we are in the process of advising Real Social Dynamics of our decision not to proceed as their event venue. — The Como Melbourne (@ComoMelbourne) November 4, 2014