An Australian Uber driver has been fired after recordings emerged online of the man allegedly making homophobic slurs against a lesbian couple and threatening to "drag" them from the car.
Melbourne woman Lucy Thomas, who is also co-founder of the Australian anti-bullying group Project Rockit, posted the audio recording online this morning, saying it was taken during an Uber ride home with her girlfriend.
In a post accompanying the audio, Thomas said the driver "realised we're in a same-sex relationship and became physically threatening and aggressive." Thomas then said she "found courage to stand up to him" and started recording his responses.
[Warning: Audio contains offensive language.]
"I can do anything I want, if I am prepared to suffer the consequences," the driver, identified by the women as John, says in the recording. "What, are you going to give me a '1' rating and make a complaint?
"And when I write my report about two f*****ts, who don't like being called f****ts, then what are they going to say?"
Thomas says she then reported the driver to Uber, but that the company would not provide information on the outcome of her complaint in order to "protect his privacy."
Uber later confirmed that the driver had been fired after the incident.
"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have been in contact with this rider to offer our support," said a spokesperson for Uber. "As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we removed the driver from the platform."
While Uber would not comment specifically on whether the driver's details were protected for privacy reasons, the alleged incident was in clear contravention of Uber's non-discrimination policy.
According to the policy, Uber prohibits discrimination against both riders and drivers, including "refusing to provide or accept services," and drivers violating this policy "will lose access to the Uber platform."
Ms Thomas had no further comment.