Uber executives apparently believe that women belong in the kitchen. At least that was the message that came through when they offered a ‘Wife Appreciation Day’ promotion in Bengaluru recently. And after the ride-hailing company was taken to task on social media for being sexist, it was forced to apologize.
To mark ‘Wife Appreciation Day’ in Bengaluru Sept. 17, Uber sent out an e-mail to its customers encouraging husbands to “order on uberEats and let your wife take a day off from the kitchen.” In that “gentle reminder” to the husbands, the company offered Rs. 100 off on a minimum billing of Rs. 400 when they used the promo code “Nocookingday.”
After facing backlash on social media, the San Francisco, Calif.-headquartered company later removed the offer and apologized for the same, calling it “totally inappropriate.”
Before the company pulled the ad, it was all over social media. Here are some of the responses from Twitter users that accused the company of promoting sexism and regressive gender stereotypes.
“sorry@uber but why do you think that only the ‘wife’ needs to be at the kitchen,” said one.
“Thank you @Uber for defining gender roles in India. Of course, women are meant to slog it out in the kitchen and the men need to buy us freedom,” said another user.
“But this was unprogressive,” read another tweet. “There has to be a better way to market your food delivery service which doesn’t rely on centuries of oppression.”
When someone brought it to Uber’s Chief Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John’s notice, writing “hi @dkhos, @badassboz, would be great if your $69 billion company stopped perpetrating regressive gender stereotypes in India,” she was quick to respond. “Oh, hell no,” she wrote. “This is completely unacceptable. Will take care of this.”