Bigoted NYC Uber driver Ahmad El Boutari said his two female passengers kissing was “disrespectful” and “illegal,” and after kicking them out of his car, he grabbed one of them by the arm to stop her from filming the incident.
Emma Pichl, 24, and her girlfriend of two years, Alex Iovine, 26, had just come from a friend’s celebration and were heading to another, and while they kissed in the car, they didn’t break any rules. Uber has a policy of no sex in the cars, but El Boutari did not have that problem.
El Boutari told the New York Daily News, “I don’t give a sh*t about them. I did what I believe is my freedom,” and said he has less tolerance for same sex couples.
Watch video of incident here:
Tough experience yesterday. Help spread the word about this Uber driver.
Posted by Alex Iovine on Monday, June 11, 2018
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported in its 2016 Hate Violence Report that the most common type of violence experienced by LGBTQ survivors was verbal harassment followed by threats and intimidation, and physical violence. New York City Police Department (NYPD) data shows hate crimes are on the rise: 57 anti-LGBT crimes occurred in 2017, and 16 have already been recorded in the first three months of 2018.
Pichl and Iovine reported the driver to Uber and additionally filed a complaint with the city’s Human Rights Commission.
Uber is investigating the incident and has already suspended the driver’s access to their app and refunded the couple’s fare. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the NY Post, “This is an open society and Uber is a platform that is available to anybody regardless of your background, your orientation, and that is sacred to us. It’s an unfortunate circumstance and we will do everything we can for that not to repeat.”
The company hasn’t had much success with creating diverse work environments, however, and has grappled with sexual harassment scandals. The previous CEO and executives, along with the company, were sued in 2017 by an Uber passenger who was raped for trying to discredit her story and mishandle records, and a human resources investigation found the company negligent of handling a myriad of discrimination and sexual harassment cases.
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