Perth Ola driver kicks gay couple out of car for touching

Ride-share company Ola has offered a public apology after one of their drivers kicked a gay couple in Perth out of the car for “breaking his rules”.

Their offence? One half of the couple rested his hand on his partner’s leg, while the other rested his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder.

When Anthony Price and his partner Jordan Hitch returned from a short holiday in Broome on Thursday night they booked a car from ride share service Ola to take them home from the airport. Price is well known drag performer Scarlet Adams, who has performed in cabaret and music videos.”

“We’d been in the car for about five minutes, Anthony had his hand on my knee and I was resting my head on his shoulder, when the driver turned around and said ‘None of that in this car, stop what you’re doing.’ We just looked at each other trying to work out what was going on,” Hitch old OUTinPerth.

Realising that the driver appeared to be objecting to two men touching other, Price turned on the camera on his phone. Their ride then came to a sudden end, and the video they posted to a social media has quickly been shared online.

In the video the driver can be seen telling the couple to refrain from touching each other, before pulling over at a service station and refusing to take them to their destination.

“I said stop, this is my rule,” the driver is seen saying in the clip. “I’ll drop you off here… I can’t take you.”

The driver objects when to the couple filming his responses on video and Price begins giving a commentary on the situation.

“He told us to stop doing this behaviour… because I have my hand on my partner’s leg,” Price can he heard saying in the video.

Ola has apologised for the incident.

“We do not in any way condone this behaviour from our drivers,” a spokesperson said.

“This does not fall in line with our practices and guidelines.”

“Further action will be taken against the driver for his misconduct as per the Ola policy.”

Price and Hitch have praised the response from Ola sharing that they got a response from the company’s safety team very shortly after they reported the incident, and the company has been in contact with them again this morning to update them on their actions in addressing the incident.

Price told OUTinPerth he was surprised by the driver’s comments.

“I get into ride share cars three times a week in full drag but never have a problem, so this is an isolated incident for us, but once we put the video up on Facebook we heard from lots of people who have had similar incidents.”

The couple said they hoped their video would show other people that you can take action when incidents like this occur and companies need to take responsibility for their staff’s comments and actions.

Update (4:15pm): A spokesperson for DiDi has also reached out to OUTinPerth to confirm the same driver has been permanently banned from their service after the encounter.

“DiDi has been made aware of an incident in Perth where a rideshare passenger was discriminated against by a rideshare driver,” spokesperson Dan Jordan said.

“While this didn’t occur on the DiDi platform, we feel that all rideshare passengers deserve to feel safe and respected during every trip.”

“As such, DiDi has now permanently banned this driver to ensure no such display of discrimination is experienced by our passengers from this individual in the future. DiDi takes all reports of safety and discrimination very seriously and it is not acceptable on any rideshare platform.”

OIP Staff

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