By Libby Wilson
Uber, man... what are you doing? You keep stuffing up so much. First there was the #deleteUber campaign, with more than 200,000 Uber customers in the US deleting their accounts over Uber's position on President Trump's economic advisory council. Next, the revelations from a former Uber employee detailing the culture of sexual harassment at the company. Then, incredibly, actual video of CEO Travis Kalanick being a massive jerk to an Uber driver, prompting him to release a statement acknowledging he needs to "grow up".
This week, the company had a chance to get some good press for maybe the first time this year, if it could only get its act together for like twenty minutes and sign a goddamn letter. 53 other companies, including more than a dozen major tech firms like Amazon and IBM, signed an amicus brief on Thursday filed on behalf of Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen who's suing for the right to use the boys' bathroom at his school.
The US Supreme Court will hear the case at the end of this month.
Conspicuously absent from the list of signatories was Uber, as noted by Politico's Morning Tech newsletter (emphasis ours):
Who isn't on the list?Facebook, Google and Uber. All three have sounded off on the issue in the past, and criticised the Trump administration for rolling back protections for transgender students. Uber told [Politico reporter] Tony it wanted to sign but didn't because it missed the deadline. Facebook wouldn't comment beyond pointing to its previous statement. Google didn't respond to a request for comment.
Missed the deadline. Just straight up did not get its homework in on time. Uber had a chance to show people that hey, maybe our company isn't a bottomless barrel of incompetence, and it just... didn't. That's not to say that Facebook and Google aren't also dopes for not signing the letter, but Uber really needed that sweet hit of good news.
Reports that Uber texted its friends halfway through brunch saying it's "so sorry guys, just woke up, gonna have to take a raincheck" are unconfirmed.