Uber has a tendency to stay in the limelight but it is not always for a good cause. There has been many different views and opinions of the newly President Trump’s immigration ban. Celebrities are now storming hot with the ridesharing company, Uber for the company’s response to immigration ban protests.
Celebrities Use New Hashtag
There is a new hashtag trending among celebrities around the world #DeleteUber. This celebrity outcry follows Ubers response to the immigration ban protests. The use of #DeleteUber began on Saturday, following Friday’s signing of an executive order that barred refugees and immigrants from several Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States. Cab drivers from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance opted to not pick up passengers from John F. Kennedy Airport out of respect for the protesters. While people waited for Uber and Lyft to show their support, Uber sent out a tweet informing customers that surge prices had been temporarily suspended. Many saw this move as an attempt to capitalize on and undermine the protest, since surges bump the cost of rides when the demand is high.
Lyft over Uber?
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Uber attempted to clear up the matter: “We’re sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet. It was not meant to break up any strike. We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially tonight.”
A spokesperson further emphasized to Fortune, “The decision to turn off surge pricing was made specifically to avoid profiting from increased demand during the protest. The company has previously made a similar commitment to limiting surge pricing during disasters, after being accused of taking advantage of riders in times of need.” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who’s a member of Trump’s economic advisory team, previously released a response to the immigration ban in an email to employees.
“Our People Ops team has already reached out to the dozen or so employees who we know are affected,” he wrote, further adding that Uber is “working out a process to identify these drivers and compensate them pro bono during the next three months to help mitigate some of the financial stress and complications with supporting their families and putting food on the table.” Kalanick also promised to raise the issue with Trump on Friday during the “first business advisory group meeting.”
To add flame to the fire, Uber’s competing car service, Lyft, promised to donate $1 million over the next four years to the ACLU, the organization that issued the lawsuit that prompted a federal judge to temporarily halt Trump’s executive order. Many celebrities saw this an act of love and the choice to leave Uber became easy.