Uber's svp of business, Emil Michael, caused a negative stir Monday night after a BuzzFeed article reported the executive apparently believed his company should investigate and smear journalists—while singling out PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy. Today, through a public relations rep, Michael apologized and suggested his comments didn't reflect his actual beliefs or intentions.
His sincerity was met with skepticism on Twitter, to say the least. And there's no need for sentiment analysis from a tech vendor to figure out how this event drove the Uber brand into a ravine.
Here is a baker's dozen roundup of the tweet-based backlash Uber has endured because of Michael's actions, including one from Lacy. Many of the strongest hits came from writers, which isn't surprising given the circumstances.
This is what an apology looks like from a manipulative person. Hint: it's not really an apology pic.twitter.com/xGlFL307WQ— tc (@chillmage) Nov. 18, 2014
just got a call from @emilmichael asking if we could chat off record. i said no. readers and riders deserved to hear it. so he hung up— Sarah Lacy (@sarahcuda) Nov. 18, 2014
I'll pay for the @Uber that picks Emil Michael up (and anyone like him at the company) and drops him off at oblivion.— Jason Hirschhorn (@JasonHirschhorn) Nov. 18, 2014
Arguably most shocking part of Uber-gate is Emil Michael thinking he would need to pay oppo researchers $250k each.— danprimack (@danprimack) Nov. 18, 2014
the interesting thing is how uber has managed to make the giant taxi industry and Lyft into sympathetic characters— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) Nov. 18, 2014
Apparently I am not the only one canceling their Uber account today pic.twitter.com/N5glvjPgMm— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) November 18, 2014