Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is getting slammed by critics, who say his dismissive attitude toward alleged assaults by his company's drivers is highly
The latest incident took place over the weekend. Writer Bridget Todd and her husband used Uber's smartphone app to summon a car from the District of
Columbia taxi service. The following day, Todd tweeted that the driver had choked her in a racially motivated attack. Todd is black; her husband is white.
Todd has set her Twitter account to private, so the tweets are no longer available publicly.
Uber issued a statement to Valleywag
telling a different story. The company had removed the driver from duty, but the "argument" in the taxi—the statement never confirms whether the
altercation became physical—was "provoked by the passenger."
The company also issued the driver's version of events, which claims Todd was very inebriated and that the altercation started because she put her feet on
the car's seats.
Later emails to Valleywag and other news outlets, sent directly from Kalanick's email account, seem to be addressing Uber's PR team rather than
"We need to make sure these writers don't come away thinking we are responsible even when things do go bad," he wrote, adding that the incidents "aren't
even real in the first place."
Reporters may have unintentionally been copied on the emails, or Kalanick might have intended to send them. It isn't clear yet.
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Commenters on the Valleywag article and on other online accounts are debating who really is at fault, but the story doesn't seem to be taking off on social
media. Many of the Monday and Tuesday tweets about Uber were instead about how the company was offering free rides to people leaving the Washington Navy Yard after Monday