Uber may be embroiled in another controversy, according to a new report. A report from The Information claims that in 2014, Uber employees allegedly visited an escort karaoke bar in South Korea — four male and one female employee, along with CEO Travis Kalanick — where the males participated in the bar’s system of calling out women by their designated number to accompany them for that evening.
I'm shocked shocked shocked that Uber CEO seems to have taken a work group to a whorehouse said no one ever. https://t.co/rGc4tUeIwm— Michele Dauber (@mldauber) March 25, 2017
wow it's almost like Emil Michael should have been fired the first time he tried to silence a woman... https://t.co/sXcp1opTP7— Sarah Lacy (@sarahcuda) March 25, 2017
The news comes as the result of a surfaced human resources complaint by the female marketing manager.
During the outing, there was one female employee present who felt uncomfortable, the report claims. She reported the incident to HR a year later, and also shared her feelings with Gabi Holzwarth, who was dating Kalanick at the time and present at the incident. Kalanick allegedly tried to stop Holzwarth from sharing the story, according to The Information.
A spokesperson for Uber told ATTN:, “This all happened about three years ago and was previously reported to human resources. In early March it was referred to Eric Holder and Tammy Albarran as part of their review.” (Albarran and Holder are leading the internal investigation of Uber.)
A couple weeks ago, Uber's SVP of Business — Emil Michael — allegedly contacted Holzwarth to get her to say that it was a just karaoke bar and that the employees were "having a good time," according to what Holzwarth told The Information.
"I'm not going to lie for them," she told the news site.
Uber, call your office pic.twitter.com/ByhyhnqlX1— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) March 25, 2017
This comes after another Uber scandal.
Days ago, news surfaced that an Uber manager told a software engineer that “sexism in systemic in tech," after she expressed no interest in joining the team due to the sexual harassment controversies, the Guardian reported.
Last month, ATTN: reported on a viral story by a former female employee alleging alleging problematic treatment of her self and other women.
Two years ago, Uber announced an initiative to hire a million women drivers globally.
Uber isn’t unique: This is an industry-wide problem.
The tech sector has been embroiled in issues regarding sexual harassment and gender representation for years.
Earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed against Tesla regarding harassment and gender based income inequality. In 2015, a class action lawsuit against Twitter alleged their system of promotions was sexually discriminatory. And, in 2014, Google took gender inequality at the company into their own hands by actively working to resolve sex-based disparities.
Updated 3/25/2017 at 8:35 p.m. PDT: This story was updated for clarity.