In new hidden camera footage obtained by Bloomberg, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick is shown arguing with and berating a driver for Uber Black, the ride-sharing company's black car service.
The conflict begins just as Kalanick is about to leave the vehicle, driven by Fawzi Kamel. Like many other Black drivers, Kamel argues that Uber Black's fares are too low, and claims to have lost $97,000 as a result of Uber's shifting fares. “You’re raising the standards, and you’re dropping the prices,” Kamel tells Kalanick, whose denials get more and more heated, before he calls Kamel's charges "Bullshit."
“Some people don't like to take responsibility for their own shit," Kalanick says before exiting Kamel's car. "They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!”
Kalanick wrote a contrite email to Uber employees after Bloomberg published the story. “To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement,” he said. “My job as your leader is to lead… and that starts with behaving in a way that makes us all proud. That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away." Kalanick also said that he intends to get "leadership help" in order to "fundamentally change as a leader and grow up."
The video is just the latest in a string of troubling allegations against Uber. Two female former employees have made allegations of a toxic workplace culture that ignores sexual harassment and misogyny. Uber responded by hiring former Attorney General Eric Holder to look into the claims, while Kalanick spoke with female Uber employees who told him of "a systemic problem."
Such charges threaten to maintain the momentum of #DeleteUber, a social media campaign that saw as many as 200,000 Uber customers cancel their accounts. On January 27, the company's was accused of crossing the picket line held by taxi companies at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City, who were striking in protest of President Trump's Muslim ban. Kalanick soon withdrew from President Trump's economic advisory team following protests.