A social media-led boycott of Uber has ensued due to the company's handling of the protests against Trump's Muslim ban.
Many on social media, celebrities included, are making use of the "DeleteUber" hashtag and avowing to get rid of the popular transportation app due to Uber's perceived stance on President Trump and his recent ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. The outcry against the Silicon Valley powerhouse proliferated on Saturday night, when the company tweeted that it would suspend surge pricing at JFK Airport in the midst of a temporary taxi strike in protest of the president's executive order, which has been widely referred to as Trump's "Muslim ban."
Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017
As JFK was the site of large protests at the time, there was high demand for transportation at the airport, especially as The New York City Taxi Workers Alliance called for a temporary stoppage in service to and from JFK. An Uber spokesperson told Fortune that "the decision to turn off surge pricing was made specifically to avoid profiting from increased demand during the protest." Those who decided to boycott the app, though, believed the opposite to be true -- that Uber's tweet showed the company's readiness to capitalize on the demand created by the protest and the taxi strike.
Before this weekend's protests, there was already growing backlash against Uber due to the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, being on Trump's business advisory council. Kalanick defended his affiliation with Trump to his employees last week, saying, "We'll partner with anyone in the world as long they're about making transportation in cities better."
Along with Elon Musk, Kalanick is one of two members of Trump's business council to publicly denounce the Muslim ban. Yesterday, Kalanick announced that his company would be taking measures to protect and remedy its drivers against the immigration order, such as pledging a $3 million legal defense fund as well as compensating those drivers who have been barred reentry into the US because of the executive order.
When you go from living with a boyfriend to never speaking to him again pic.twitter.com/s5n2kGyG6r— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) January 29, 2017
usta uber a lot , not no moeeee— TOKYO ✘ (@madeintyo) January 29, 2017
2017: @lyft everywhere— TOKYO ✘ (@madeintyo) January 29, 2017