Update: 19 November, 14:06 pm GMT: Sky News is reporting Blanc will not be allowed to enter the UK.
The broadcaster reports: "Sky sources have learned the so-called pick-up artist Julien Blanc will not be allowed to enter the UK."
A Home Office spokesman has told BuzzFeed News the department will not comment on individual cases.
However, Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone appears to have confirmed the news to a Sky News producer.
Update: 16 November, 17.26 pm GMT: it looks as though Blanc visited the UK in September.
Now-deleted tweets and Facebook statuses suggest he gave a talk on 9 September at the Hilton Metropole.
An entry on his blog from September 15 also says he was in London around this time, and suggests he will be in Las Vegas from 24 November to 21 December.
Update: 15 November, 11.45 am GMT:
She told The Guardian:
As the Home Office minister with responsibility for tackling violence against women and girls, I am extremely concerned by the sexist and utterly abhorrent statements Julien Blanc has made about women.
If he was allowed to perform in the UK I have no doubt that cases of sexual harassment and intimidation would increase.
Over the weekend a picture of Blanc with comedian Russell Brand was discovered.
It was uploaded to Blanc's Instagram account 18 months ago. Brand has now released a statement in which he says he would never endorse Blanc's techniques.
Original story below.
This is Julien Blanc. He travels the world teaching men that they can pick up women by harassing, manipulating, and degrading them. It's believed he intends to arrive in the UK later this month.
As BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month:
Blanc works with the international pick-up artist collective Real Social Dynamics, and in expensive online courses and free public workshops, he and other pick-up artists instruct men on how to manipulate women into having sex with them.
He has deployed his "techniques" in Denmark, Germany, Greece, and many other countries, posting pictures of himself #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld.
This image was allegedly posted to Instagram by Blanc with the caption: "May as well be a checklist… #HowToMakeHerStay”.
The Daily Mail reported on his tips regarding choking women, and quoted him as saying it's "genuine fun" and makes men "stand out".
Campaigners have attempted to expose his tactics using the hashtag #TakeDownJulienBlanc, which was launched by activist Jenn Li.
The Daily Mail reported on the amount of money he'd made from his courses, saying:
Few would deny it is all deeply unpleasant – but it appears to have earned Blanc and his business partners a fortune.
Together they travel the world, hosting eye-poppingly expensive seminars – a 'bootcamp' costs upwards of £1,250.
The paper also reported on his somewhat mysterious background:
On the surface at least, his is a life of some privilege. Born in Switzerland and educated in Europe, he gave up a place at business school after two years to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. There he befriended Tyler Cook, founder of dating advice site Real Social Dynamics, which markets seminars to men who wish to improve their chances with the opposite sex. The firm is based on Hollywood's Sunset Strip.
Beyond that, Blanc's CV is a mystery, though on his own website he writes that he was a 'shy, stuck-up guy with horrible skills with women' who 'would get stifled in every "normal" social situation.'
Campaigners say that Blanc essentially incites crime, and should not be allowed in the country on that basis.
Deana Puccio, co-founder of the RAP project, told Sky News: "Anyone that promotes criminal behaviour, we should not tolerate. That's what Blanc is doing – he is promoting sexual assault against women."
Nearly 80,000 people have now signed an online petition asking for the home secretary to deny Julien Blanc a UK visa.
The petition states:
Do not associate the UK with a man who chokes women around the world as part of his pick up game. Please help us stand with the women of Australia, the women of America, and women everywhere, and do not let the UK play host to events where men are being taught how to violate and harass women. It's not only women who are affected; Blanc's misogynistic 'pick up techniques' directly exploit vulnerable men who buy into rape culture and end up believing that this is an appropriate way to behave.
To allow this man into the UK legitimises sexual assault and predation, and sends a message that women are playthings or objects without agency...
He is not just doing this in Tokyo. He is doing this all around the world. He is doing this in Denmark and Sydney. A likely outcome of his seminars in the UK would be increased incidence of sexual assault, already at staggering numbers.
His proposed tour dates bring him to the UK on the 21st November – please don't let him in.
Last week the hashtag “#KeepJulienBlancOutOfCanada” gained traction after it was revealed he was planning to visit next year. Canada’s citizen and immigration minister responded:
BuzzFeed News was contacted by a 25-year old woman in Toronto who claimed Blanc had tried to pick her up. She posted screengrabs of the interaction:
He was eventually deported.
The Home Office has said it will consider whether visa applications are against the public interest.
A spokesperson told Sky News: "The home secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good."