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Uber sacks driver after passenger records vile homophobic rant

An Uber driver has been removed from the rideshare service after he was recorded hurling homophobic comments at an Australian couple over the weekend.

Lucy Thomas, the CEO of anti-bullying organisation PROJECT ROCKIT, was in an Uber in Melbourne with her girlfriend when their driver started calling them "faggots" after he realised they were in a relationship, she wrote on Cylps. 

"The driver said he hated football because it was a bunch of 'faggots' jumping around and touching each other," she told the Star Observer. "He then asked us — why are you worried, are you gay?"

Instead of letting the incident go unreported, Thomas bravely responded to the driver and recorded his rant, which she posted on Twitter Monday. Thomas has been approached for comment.

"What, are you going to give me a one rating and make a complaint?" he taunts them in the recording. He also threatens to drag them from his car if they do not get out.

Warning: the following recording contains offensive language.

According to Thomas, she reported the incident immediately to Uber but was told she wouldn't be notified of what happened to the driver "to protect his privacy."

By early afternoon Monday, however, she was advised by Uber the driver had been removed from the platform.

"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have been in contact [with] this rider to offer our support," a company spokesperson told Mashable Australia. "As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we removed the driver from the platform."

Uber drivers are not employees and are designated as contractors. According to Uber's code of conduct, they have a "zero-tolerance policy" toward harassment and abuse. Drivers found to have discriminated against people for sexual orientation, among other reasons, will be removed from Uber's platform.

Uber has been criticised for how it vets drivers, particularly in the U.S. In April, the company settled a lawsuit for around $10 million (A$14 million) in California that alleged it had it mislead passengers about the quality of its driver background checks.

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