Controversial “neo-masculinist” group Return of Kings has cancelled its worldwide meetup events set to take place on Saturday, including one planned for Hong Kong supporters. The group was founded by a man who has written misogynist articles and advocated for the legalisation of rape on private property.

The founder of the group, Roosh Valizadeh, announced the cancellation on his website on Thursday, amid a media storm.

Roosh Valizadeh.

“I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups can not be made private in time. While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return Of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations. I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision,” he wrote.

HKFP reported that the group had organised an “international meetup day”, during which there will be 165 meetings in 43 places, including Hong Kong, according to the Return of Kings website. The group had planned to meet outside local bar Joe Bananas in Wan Chai. Its managing director said the bar was seeking legal advice, saying: “It’s unfortunate that [the bar has] been associated with what this guy proposed.”

Media backlash

The announcement of the event prompted a media backlash from netizens around the world, with many seeking to ban Valizadeh from entering their countries.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said that Valizadeh would have a hard time getting into the country if he tried, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. In turn, Valizadeh said that people who have tried to ban him from entering their countries are “stupid”.

Hermina Wong

Hermina is a Hong Kong writer and journalist. She graduated with a degree in politics from Cambridge, and is interested in international affairs, particularly those related to China, the EU and the Middle East. She also enjoys political satire.