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Uber suspends driver after ‘lefty’ actors film confrontation about politics
Actors Tara Strong (voice actor for Teen Titans Go! and Ben 10) and Rena Sofer (The Bold and the Beautiful, 24) were canvassing for Democrat Harley Rouda in Orange County on Tuesday, when they got into a heated discussion about politics with their Uber driver.
In a two-minute clip posted by Strong, she and Sofer argue with the driver, who calls them “lefties” and mentions “mind control.” One of the women says the driver sounds “like Trump’s mouthpiece.” The context of the discussion isn’t clear, since it appears to start in the middle of the argument. Strong said she had a longer video of the incident, and in a reply to another tweet, said that the driver “called us demons & propaganda crazy lefties 20 min before I began filming.”
He called us demons & propaganda crazy lefties 20 min before I began filming. He told us that he came to the states for a trip with buddies & NEVER left & we need to shut up with our “agenda”. Rena was defending herself as a citizen allowed to speak, not demeaning or insulting.— tara strong (@tarastrong) November 7, 2018
Strong deleted the original tweet about the exchange, in which she stated that the driver “almost killed” them “because we are Democrats,” but followed it up with one directed at President Donald Trump and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. Strong accused the driver of being one of Trump’s “crazy sycophant followers.”
Hey @realDonaldTrump 1 of your crazy sycophant followers, an @Uber driver almost killed @RenaSofer & when he found out we’re Democrats. He shouted your vile hatred that #Soros paid for the #caravan & that #transgender is a mental disorder,his neighbor @benshapiro told him so too— tara strong (@tarastrong) November 6, 2018
THREAD 1 This election is so critical!! @tarastrong and I just escaped from an angry @realDonaldTrump loving @Uber driver who invaded our private conversation and called us Evil, brainwashed and lefty demons. He started driving erratically until we got him to let us out!! But...— Rena Sofer BoycottNRA (@RenaSofer) November 6, 2018
Thread 2 here’s the thing. He is an immigrant who showed up at the border in the 80’s and then applied for immigration status. Today he would have been kicked out WITHOUT his children! And we are demons?? @Uber is this ok with you?? Your driver was out of line!!— Rena Sofer BoycottNRA (@RenaSofer) November 6, 2018
Sofer defended herself over comments that she was using her privilege as a celebrity to get the driver fired, and comments about his status as an American citizen.
I feel powerful in not letting a man verbally abuse and harass me. Do you feel powerful in attacking someone for something you know nothing about? https://t.co/Q4CB4OZUxy— Rena Sofer BoycottNRA (@RenaSofer) November 6, 2018
Might want to rewatch the video cause all you are doing is trying to get him fired for nothing and you and your buddy come off looking racist....— Dee Shannon (@DeeShannon1961) November 7, 2018
Uber Support responded to Strong yesterday, claiming it would “take a closer look.” An Uber representative told Yahoo that the driver has been suspended while the incident is being investigated.
We absolutely want to take a closer look. Please send us a DM with your email address so we can follow up.— Uber Support (@Uber_Support) November 6, 2018
In a statement, Uber said: “Our expectation is that riders and drivers respect each other’s differences. Disparaging language and discrimination are never OK. We are in touch with the riders and will take the appropriate action.”
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.