New York Times: "After Outcry, Britain Bars ‘Pickup Artist’ From Entering"

by Joseph McKeown

Julien Blanc, a "pickup artist" who leads dating boot camps around the world and whose advice he claims will "make girls beg to sleep with you," has been denied entry to the United Kingdom, The New York Times reports, becoming "possibly the first man ever denied a visa on grounds of sexism."

Home Secretary Theresa May made the decision to bar Mr. Blanc following international criticism over his dating seminars and a petition, signed by more than 150,000, that stated: “To allow this man into the UK legitimises sexual assault and predation, and sends a message that women are playthings or objects without agency.”

A Home Office spokesman said that 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 or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds[.]'"

Mr. Blanc's methods and advice have been described as sexist and abusive, and earlier this year he was forced to leave Australia after protests and a social media campaign (#TakeDownJulienBlanc) raised awareness about his aggressive, offensive, and misogynistic tactics.

Other figures who have been denied entry to the UK include controversial anti-semitic French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, anti-Islam American bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders. 

As for the US, prominent figures denied visas or entry to the US include Boy George, after being charged with false imprisonment in the UK, singer Cat Stevens, whose plane was diverted to Maine and he was denied entry on "'national security grounds,'" and, until recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose visa had been denied after allegations that he stood by or even encouraged religious riots in which over 1000 people, mostly Muslim, were killed. Mr. Modi denied and was eventually cleared of these charges, and now he's up for TIME's Person of the Year, which is unlikely to happen for Mr. Blanc.