ABOVE: Watch “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc apologize during a TV interview.
TORONTO — Julien Blanc, the “pick-up artist” who outraged people around the world with social media posts and videos that appeared to promote the emotional and physical abuse of women, said Monday he was only kidding.
“I 100-per-cent take responsibility and I apologize 100 per cent for it,” he told CNN. “I’m extremely sorry. I feel horrible. I’m overwhelmed by the way people are responding.”
More than 73,000 people have added their names to two petitions urging the government to keep Blanc, who represents Real Social Dynamics (RSD), out of Canada. Similar petitions seek to keep him out of Brazil, Japan, Korea and the U.K.
A social media campaign used the hashtag #KeepJulienBlancOutOfCanada.
Earlier this month, Swiss-born, U.S.-based Blanc was kicked out of Australia, where he was scheduled to appear at several RSD events. Immigration minister Scott Morrison told Sky News: “He was putting forward abuse that was derogatory to women and those are values abhorred in this country.”
Blanc is under fire for lessons on how to pick-up women using emotional tricks and physical force — and for a series of misogynistic tweets. He is also seen in videos posted online demonstrating how he pulls women’s heads into his crotch and putting his hand around their throats.
BELOW: Scroll through a sample of Blanc’s tweets.
Blanc’s blog posts and videos have titles like “God Is On My Side: Intense Self-Amusement Tactics That Will Let You Choke Girls For Fun” and “Make Her Obey: How To Never Give Her A Chance To Say No.” The posts have since been removed from public view.
BELOW: Watch Global National’s Mike Le Couteur’s Nov. 10 report on the social media campaign to keep Julien Blanc out of Canada.
Blanc told CNN his intentions were good and he was merely trying to get laughs.
“It was a horrible attempt at humour and, unfortunately, a lot of it also just got put out of context,” he said.
Blanc said the photos showing his hand at women’s throats with the hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld were “a horrible, horrible attempt at humour.”
But he qualified his apology. “They were also taken out of context in a way. You can make anything look bad in a picture.”
When pressed by interviewer Chris Cuomo, Blanc admitted: “I did place my hand around their neck. I did not physically choke them.”
Blanc was also asked about the domestic abuse chart he posted online with the comment: “May as well be a checklist… #HowToMakeHerStay.”
“I stupidly thought that mocking it would be funny,” he explained. “But it wasn’t and I regret putting that out.”
Opponents are planning to deluge Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander with tweets on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon to urge him to ban Blanc from the country.
Last week, Alexander indicated his department was “looking at all options and will consider using every tool at our disposal to protect the rule of law on Canadian soil.”
Blanc said the campaigns to keep him out of several countries are the result of his “posting a lot of stupid stuff online.
“I thought I was being funny. It was stupid,” he said. “I regret it and I will definitely be more careful in the future.”
Blanc has not responded to interview requests by Global News.
He told CNN his seminars are designed to “teach guys how to gain confidence in order to socialize with women and perhaps get into a relationship with women.”
Blanc added: “I’m re-evaluating everything I put out and everything I’m going to be putting out.”