In light of Uber executive Emil Michael's villainous statements against the app's biggest critics, John Hodgman revealed that he's quitting the car service. In a blog post on his web site Tuesday night, the comedian critiqued Michael's moves and officially deleted the app in protest.
Michael, who's senior vice president of business at Uber, initially said the company should hire a team to essentially serve as a smear squad against critics and, as BusinessWeek reports, "specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company."
Calling for Michael to resign amid the controversy, Hodgman wrote:
I'm sure Emil Michael is very talented at what he does and it would probably be hard and/or expensive for Uber to let him go.
But this is an executive who advocated for doxxing as corporate policy.
And if he did't mean that they would publicly reveal the dirt his million dollar team of opposition researchers discovered, what ELSE would they do with that information? Use it against the journalist, I guess? I mean WHAT ELSE?
In particular, his public axe-grinding against Sarah Lacy was beyond unprofessional, and simply gross. And, if reported fairly, this moment from the Buzzfeed account itself implies a specific—if veiled—threat that's an eyelash away from blackmail. And his defense—that he didn't mean the words coming out of his mouth—is beyond cowardly.
The Daily Show alum also wrote that he's pulling out of the service and that Michael needs to be fired or resign:
I'm know he's very sad and I know Uber is very sad. But to my mind, the only honorable (and SMART) move for himself, and the company he claims to be proud of is: resign, already. That he couldn't, and Uber couldn't take the hard next step and fire him, is baffling to me.
If this isn't a fireable offense, are there any? Can Uber make ANY hard decisions? Or worse, would they only fire a person who had less wealth and prestige within the industry? What if one of their drivers made comments like that to a reporter? Or an intern?
I honestly wish Michael the best. Sometimes talented people make dumb mistakes. In most walks of life, good people are held accountable for even the dumbest, most unfair mistakes. In increasingly rare walks of life, good people hold themselves accountable for them. These are my values.
I like Uber. I know some don't. I don't intend to blackmail them.
He's not alone. Plenty of people are close behind, but dumping Uber completely may not be feasible, according to some folks on Twitter who've followed through.
Uber responded to one user thusly:
Ashton Kutcher, meanwhile, is all like, "what? Lol"
Image via Getty