Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said drivers like the homophobic one who kicked a lesbian couple out of his auto in Manhattan over the weekend just for kissing "don't belong on Uber".
The couple, Alex Lovine (26) and her girlfriend Emma Pichl (24) were riding with the vehicle service in Manhattan when the driver suddenly pulled over and told them to get out of the auto.
A Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman calls the driver's behavior "ridiculous". The couple had called the Uber to take them from Gowanus to the East Village, and it was just over the Manhattan Bridge when they say the incident began.
But then the driver pulled over and told them to "get out", according to Iovine.
In an interview with NBC New York, Iovine admitted that their exchange "turned into anger, which we are not proud of. He yelled at us for being disrespectful and inappropriate because we pecked on the lips".
When they protest, telling him that "kissing is not illegal", he insists they're wrong, saying: "Yes, it is illegal. You aren't allowed to do this".More news: Led joint bid wins right to host 2026 World Cup
"Why are we not allowed to kiss in an Uber?"
The driver says: "It's illegal".
The driver, Ahmed Elbotari, 35, wearing a wrinkled, ill-fitting undershirt and frosted sunglasses, can be seen on the recording opening the backdoor of the auto after pulling over at Canal St.to force the couple out when he eyed the lip lock.
When one of the women asked whether kissing was against Uber policy, the driver replied, "I don't want to argue with you". CNN reached out to the couple about el Boutari's claims.
Uber's Community Guidelines state, in the "Give riders and drivers some personal space" section, "We all value our personal space and privacy".
"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience", an Uber spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement. "They reportedly have been refunded the cost of the $22 ride".More news: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Is Here to Stay on Netflix
'We are investigating and will take appropriate action'.
In addition to filing the complaint with the city Human Right's Commission, the couple reported the incident to Uber, as did Elbotari. It said it is investigating.
'It was a really bad experience - and ironically occurred on a bright sunny day during pride month in NYC'.
'Obviously, he's homophobic. I was very surprised.
The spokesman said: "It's 2018 in New York City, and this isn't the way we live anymore", before adding that El Boutari had committed "an unacceptable and repugnant act that will not be tolerated". "It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere".More news: 'Disappointing': Experts React To The United States-North Korea Summit