An Uber driver, Ahmed Elbotari, kicked a lesbian couple out of his car for kissing on June 10 in New York City.
Alex Iovine filmed Elbotari as he told her and her girlfriend, Emma Pichl, to leave the vehicle:
It’s illegal. You can’t do this in the car. You aren’t allowed to do this… It’s disrespectful.
Iovine recalled the incident to the New York Daily News:
We were sitting on opposite sides of the car. We leaned in for a peck, and that’s what it was, a legit peck. He said, “Get out of my car.” My girlfriend started laughing. She thought he was joking.
Iovine said that she and Pichl had two drinks at a bar, but were not drunk:
He yelled at us for being disrespectful and inappropriate because we pecked on the lips.
Elbotari claimed the couple were acting crude in his car — smelling armpits, watching loud videos on their phones, putting their feet on the seat, and kissing:
I don’t give a s— about them. I did what I believe is my freedom. It’s my own car, I didn’t feel comfortable with them.
Elbotari said he would kick a straight couple out of his car, but admitted that he has less tolerance for a same-sex couple.
Iovine sent a complaint to Uber after the incident, but Uber did not respond until the New York Daily News reported on the video.
Uber refunded the $22 fare, and Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick issued a statement:
Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience. We are investigating and will take appropriate action.
The Taxi & Limousine Commission has started an investigation.