An Arizona CEO was caught on camera calling an Uber driver a “f—ing n—er” after he asked him not to sit in the front seat, according to a report.
Driver Randy Clarke, who says he had previously been sexually assaulted by a front-seat passenger, told ABC 15 he pointed to signs declaring his rules, and offered to cancel the ride with a refund.
But Hans Berglund, the founder and CEO of fertilizer firm AgroPlasma, flipped after he was refused the seat, Clarke said, sharing his car’s security footage of the exchange.
After an increasingly testy, Berglund jumped in the back — using the vile racial slur when asked to get out, the video shows.
“Is it because I’m white? And you’re a f—ing n—er?” Berglund spat out, also calling the driver with a near-perfect Uber rating a “f—ing idiot,” the video shows.
Clarke said he was “in shock” at the exchange.
“I shamelessly felt like laughing because I did not know this was real,” he told ABC 15. “It’s not just any word.”
Berglund has since been “relieved of his duties” at AgroPlasma, with the company announcing an interim CEO during its own investigation into the scandal.
The businessman told ABC 15 he offered an “honest and heartfelt” apology for the “hurtful and derogatory language I used.”
“I firmly believe that there is no excuse for the use of racial slurs under any circumstance, so I will not offer any,” he said.
But he later whined about how it left him “history” from the company he founded, calling it “such a sad story.”
“It’s so blown out of proportion, and it’s ruined my life,” he moaned to ABC 15 from outside his Scottsdale home.
Uber told its driver that the passenger’s account had been put on hold during an investigation.
“Discrimination has no place on the Uber app or anywhere,” the ride-sharing company told ABC 15.
“What’s been described is a clear violation of our Community Guidelines and we launched an investigation as soon as we learned of it.”
AgroPlasma stressed that the exchange does not reflect the firm’s “values and ethics.”
“Our relationships with our employees, customers and the community are the cornerstones of our success, and we are doing everything in our power to rebuild their trust and repair the harm that has resulted from this incident,” the company said in a statement.
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