A lesbian couple taking an Uber found out that you never know who your driver could be, and sometimes that can lead to unexpected problems. The women, Alex Iovine and Emma Pichl, wanted to take an Uber from Gowanus to the East Village in New York City. However, as they crossed the Manhattan Bridge, problems began. Iovine and Pichl explained what unfolded.
“We had leaned over and peck kissed and then a couple of minutes later the driver abruptly pulled over… He started aggressively coming at us. That’s when we pulled out our phone.”
The couple went back and forth with the driver for a bit, demanding to know why they were getting kicked out, according to ABC7NY. The driver didn’t want to be videotaped or photographed and claimed that the women kissing was “illegal” and “disrespectful.”
The Taxi and Limousine Commission has identified the driver as Ahmad El Boutari. The Commission denounced the driver’s behavior, saying it was “repugnant.” Meanwhile, Uber has said that the company “does not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
For now, an investigation is ongoing and the couple received a refund for the horrible Uber ride gone wrong. Even so, the two are planning on steering clear of Uber for a while after being shaken up after the incident.
The CEO of Uber, Dana Khosrowshahi, has also weighed in on the issue, saying that the driver doesn’t “belong driving, period.” She elaborated further, as described by LGBTQ Nation.
“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.”
On the other hand, the driver is reportedly claiming that the problem was not just with the kiss, but that they were playing loud videos on the phone. Also, he said that one of the women put their feet on his seat, and another forced their girlfriend to smell their armpit, according to NY Daily News.
El Boutari had over 4,000 fares and positive ratings. He did admit that his tolerance was shorter because the couple was a same-sex couple. He said that “I don’t give a s–t about them. I did what I believe is my freedom.” Additionally, he added that “It’s my own car. I didn’t feel comfortable with them.”
For the women, the problem is seemingly obvious. Iovine said, “Obviously, he’s homophobic.”