Stephen Colbert's The Late Show interview with Uber CEO interrupted by cabbie protesters
Cabbie protesters interrupted Stephen Colbert's The Late Show interview with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. The episode was cut short on Thursday. Drivers are accusing Kalanick of destroying their profession.
A group of New York cabbies from New York Taxi Workers Alliance; Asim Akhtar, Bill Lindauer, Victor Salazar and Ryan Richardson disrupted Stephen Colbert's interview with Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber Taxi. The scene was cut out of its Thursday episode.
It started when Colbert asked Kalanick to explain Uber to grandmothers. A yell came from the audience, "They're destroying the taxi industry!" It was Ryan Richardson, a staff of New York Taxi Workers Alliance. Colbert immediately joked that it was his cousin in the audience, the NY Daily News reported.
He alters his questions afterwards requesting the CEO to comment about the drivers' issue. Kalanick defended himself that he's revolutionizing the industry.
"Taxi driver spends $40,000 a year renting a car," Kalanick is pointing out to New York's taxi system. "That should be a Bentley that you're riding around in, but instead it goes to a taxi owner who owns the license to own and operate that cab," The Huffington Post give details.
Asim Akhtar, one of the protesters said they feel that the right questions might not be asked. What about Uber's current regulations; how he undercuts the drivers' income?
According to Akhtar, they let the interview move forward. And they are pleased that Colbert has been fair about the issue, "To be honest, we really felt that Stephen Colbert asked the right question."
On that note, Rachell Zarrell, a BuzzFeed News reporter who's also in the audience commended Colbert's approach about the incident. She tweeted, "At Colbert, an audience member started protesting the Uber CEO. Amazing how Colbert just let him speak," cited on The Verge.
Correspondingly, New York Taxi Workers Alliance director, Bhairavi Desai, said she's proud of the cabbies. In fact, she admitted she gave them the tickets. Desai praised Colbert for handling the situation. "It sounds like Colbert did a better job grilling him than most City Councils around the country," Desai added.
On the other hand, the scene was cutout on its Thursday telecast. At the moment, CBS did not respond to the issue.