Golly, who could have anticipated this?
“Choke opener?” Yes, this is how he begins conversations with strangers.
As long as they’re women.
Blanc, whose website URL is pimpingmygame.com, who works for Real Social Dynamics “The World’s Largest Dating Coaching Company,” and who charges $3,000 a ticket to his packed seminars, boasts 3,627 Facebook followers (no friends, apparently) and 7,600 followers on Twitter. He’s also got huge blowback on each, as the #TakeDownJulienBlanc hashtag climbs the charts all the way to 6,110 tweets since October 31 and commenters find their way to his Twitter and Facebook accounts. Users of the hashtag assert (vehemently, and with his own photos and videos as proof) that his actions rise to the level of assault, and that he should at least be prevented from teaching these behaviours at the expensive seminars he conducts around the world.
Blanc’s own hashtag, #ChokingWomenAroundTheWorld, is somewhat flaccid, relatively speaking, with a lifetime total of 178 instances according to analytics site Topsy.com. Most of those have come in the last few days, from critics.
His Sydney Australia seminar Thursday sparked the reaction, which began Friday and went truly viral over Sunday and Monday. He had a seminar booked in Melbourne, but it seems the public outcry is having the desired effect.
The outrage grew so spontaneously and so fast that there is no official statement, no team, not even an Anon Op per se: it simply blew up on Twitter and kept going. Tweeter Jennifer Li was the first to use the hashtag. Li also created a Change.org petition to cancel his Seattle and Austin appearances; it has 12,764 signatories so far.
On the petition, Li notes:
Thank you to each and everyone of you. Because of your signatures, your posts on Como’s Facebook, and your tweets to them, they have cancelled Julien’s event: https://twitter.com/ComoMelbourne/status/529427627707080704
You all are amazing, and have restored my faith in humanity. (And Como Melbourne has restored my faith in hotel judgement, I guess?)…
If the Aussies can do the right thing and kick Julien out, we can do the same and tell Julien and RSD that their atrocious behaviors are not welcome in their home country either.
I’ve updated the petition so it will go to the respective hotels that are hosting the events in America.
Once again, thank you for standing with women everywhere and letting scumbags like Julien know that it is not ok to assault women.
Reached via Twitter, Li told us:
I became aware of him because I saw a post about him on Tumblr. My initial feelings were rage and disbelief. I mean, it wasn’t surprising, this behavior, but it was atrocious enough that I went to sleep angry on Saturday night, after tweeting #takedownjulienblanc, and brushed my teeth on Sunday, thinking ‘I’m gonna take you down, motherfucker.’ The hashtag was just a knee jerk reaction for me; as soon as I saw that video, I wanted to take him down. I just added a “#” in front of how I felt. Total success would mean this group and Julien get so much bad press that no venue is willing to host them. I’ve been told that people are criticizing me, but all I can see is overwhelming support. There hasn’t been enough blowback for me to actually notice it. Blanc has not commented on any of this so far.
Li has now produced a video to help explain why she got involved.
But the hashtag wasn’t the first time Blanc has felt social media ire.
“When you go to Tokyo….if you’re a white male, you can do what you want. Just grab her, pull her in. She’ll giggle. Just say PIKACHU or POKEMON or something to take the pressure off. I’m romping through the streets (of Tokyo) just grabbing girls and it’s like (motions) head on dick (pfft) head on dick, yelling ‘PIKACHU’ with a Pikachu shirt on….Every foreigner who is white does this.”
Yeah, that should work well.
This video was uploaded by a Japanese YouTuber on September 17 of this year with the comment “This makes me sad.” Its title reads, in Japanese, “Whites rampage in Japan” and to date it has had almost a quarter of a million views. As for the Pikachu maneuver, he might as well try hashtagging it to fight blowback. Jake Adelstein, writing in the Tokyo Vice blog, says, “I will say that what he does in the video would most likely be considered a crime in Japan, most likely 強制わいせつ (kyoseiwaisetsu/sexual assault) or 準強制わいせつ (Forcible Indecency, Quasi Forcible Indecency). For his edification and that of anyone else who might want to emulate him, this is what the law says: A person who through assault or intimidation forcibly commits an indecent act upon male or female shall be sentenced to hard labor for not less than six months but not more than ten years.”
Pastor Bruce Reyes-Chow was also quick to condemn Blanc’s actions, posting, “Julien Blanc and Real Social Dynamics, if proven to be complicit, must be held accountable for any and all illegal actions as well as deal with financial ramifications that come from the message they espouse. From the pictures, videos and certainly from his own admission he has sexually and physically assaulted numerous women and should be prosecuted and their actions shown not to be ones that anyone should see as acceptable forms of interaction.”
To put the nail in the coffin, Buzzfeed Australia has a writeup with over 32,000 views in four hours, and shortly before the Melbourne venue cancelled his appearance, Qatari news site AlJazeera also posted a scathing article. It’s top news all over Australia, naturally.
Somayya Shazia, an Australian protest participant, told Buzzfeed, “What disturbs me is that he and his company are profiting from promoting rape culture and instructing men how to terrorise and assault women. The company’s attitude towards sexual assault is simply sickening. I want these venues to cancel his seminars as they are designed to actively promote sexual violence.”
Women’s rights advocate Melinda Tankard Reist told the Herald Sun that Blanc was “recruiting other men to learn sexual abuse tactics. There’s been all this debate on the epidemic of violence against women, there really seems to be a lot of awareness, and here you have this iconic hotel giving this guy a platform to teach men how to be sexual predators.” The Melbourne hotel subsequently had an emergency management meeting and cancelled Blanc’s appearance.
Outrage is spreading beyond the South Pacific and Japan, as critics locate his talk venues and target the hotels directly.
UPDATE: The venue in Austin has now cancelled his appearance there.
Featured image via Julien Blanc on Twitter