Looks like the Uber app needs a new backpedalling feature.
In what he thought were off-the-record comments at a dinner in New York Monday, Emil Michael, senior vice president of business for Uber, said the company should consider spending a million dollars to investigate and report on the personal lives of journalists who criticize the company.
He mentioned one journalist in particular, "PandoDaily" editor Sarah Lacy, who wrote a column about why she was deleting the Uber app and accusing the company of sexism. He said Uber drivers are safer for women than regular taxis, according to Buzzfeed, and he accused Lacy of being responsible for any woman who also deletes the app because of her article, and as a result is sexually assaulted.
Buzzfeed editor in chief Ben Smith first reported the news, noting that they were never specifically told that the event was supposed to be off-the-record.
Michael has since apologized in a statement:
"The remarks attributed to me at a private dinner — borne out of frustration during an informal debate over what I feel is sensationalistic media coverage of the company I am proud to work for — do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company's views or approach."
He also apologized to Sarah Lacy in a Tweet:
@sarahcuda I would like to apologize to you directly. My comments were wrong and I deeply regret them.— Emil Michael (@emilmichael) November 18, 2014