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Rickey Smiley has called out ride-hailing giant Uber for an alleged incident of racial profiling. The aftermath of the comedian’s encounter with a driver has become a viral hot topic among his fans since it was posted online on Friday (June 30). In his post’s caption, the Friday After Next actor wrote, “Look y’all… Anyone else dealt with Uber #discrimination before?”
In the short video, Smiley, who is off-camera, is overheard as he explains, “The Uber driver won’t drive me because I’m Black.” The male driver, who is not Black, did not make contact with Smiley as he stood in the rain and recorded the footage. “So this guy drives this car right here,” said the radio personality as he captured the driver leaving the scene in a minivan. “Just got denied Uber because I’m Black,” he reiterated. It is unclear if any words were exchanged between the two men.
A person standing nearby approached Smiley and stated that he could relate to his plight. “I done got denied a couple times. Trying to go home sometimes, like, when I first started and didn’t get my bike, a couple of dudes… they pick it up, and then they see you,” said the young man, who is also Black. “He didn’t even acknowledge you. He barely rolled down his window. They be doing that,” continued the unidentified witness.
— Rickey Smiley (@RickeySmiley) July 1, 2023
Uber responded to the post. “Hi, Rickey — we have a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination, and this is not okay. We’re so sorry this happened, and we are investigating this right away,” wrote a representative on Saturday (July 1).
Several people chimed in to share their own alleged incidents with drivers. Others said Smiley’s video was a reminder of racism. “Sadly, America reminded us today that discrimination is okay. I’m sorry this happened,” wrote one person. “To hell with ‘em. Please use your platform to get him banned from the Uber platform,” commented a second individual. And third follower remarked, “Calling them out so they can lose their ability to work with the general public. Racism does not belong in the workforce, gig jobs included.” The morning radio show host has yet to provide a follow-up regarding possible resolutions.