Arizona CEO fired after video showing him using racial slurs against Uber driver goes viral
The CEO of an Arizona fertilize company has been resigned from his position after the video appeared depicting him using racist slurs against the Uber driver.
Racist attitude can kick you off the job even from the company you founded. Hans Berglund, the white CEO and founder of Tempe-based AgroPlasma got fired Thursday after he was caught on camera using racial slur against Uber Driver, Arizona State University student Randy Clarke.
The incident that costed Berglund his job happened on January 31, when then still a CEO started cursing Clarke after he asked Berglund to sit in the back seat of the car, which is the requirement of Clarke’s Uber policy that states that the “front seat is reserved to parties of three or more.” And Berglund apparently didn’t get acquainted with Clark’s profile.
An Arizona-based CEO Hans Berglund managed to get himself fired from his own company he built after calling an Uber driver Randy Clarke the N-word.— Deniiise ???? (@RogueCharisma) February 8, 2020
The young father installed cameras in his SUV to cover himself if he ever received complaints, and they finally came handy! ???????? pic.twitter.com/4avuuisnrO
According to the video, recorded by the camera installed above the dashboard, Berglund first tells Clarke to cancel the ride as he wanted to call another car. After Clarke agrees, the client curses, slams the door and yet switches to the back seat.
"Are you f**king serious with me?" Berglund says. Then the client promises Clarke to file a complaint with Uber.
The video show how after that the driver asks Berglund to get out of his car.
“Is this because I'm white?” Berglund asks.
When Clarke denies that, Berglund answers in a racist manner:
“You're a f**king n****r. You're f**king unbelievable.”
Before leaving Clarke’s car Berglund is informed of the dashboard camera and that all his words and actions were recorded.
“Thank you so much. You got it on camera," Clarkes tells Berglund at the end. "Whoo-hoo, this is good. This is perfect."
After the footage came to hands of news outlet — Clarke personally sent it — which then told this story, AgroPlasma began the internal investigation over the incident.
"In light of the recent incident involving Hans Berglund, Agroplasma is conducting a thorough investigation of our company's anti-discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity practices, culture and policies," it reads. "We are a small business that prides itself on providing equal opportunities to all employees and candidates, and we firmly believe Mr. Berglund's actions are not reflective of who we are as a company or member of the community.
"We are committed to performing a full and honest assessment of the situation and taking the appropriate steps based on the findings of our investigation."
Clarke and civil rights activist the Rev. Jarrett Maupin held a news conference outside Tempe City Hall, near one of ASU’s Phoenix-area campuses, on Wednesday to “demand justice.”
Earlier this week Berglund apologized, saying:
"I deeply regret and apologize for the hurtful and derogatory language I used during the altercation with Mr. Clarke. I firmly believe that there is no excuse for the use of racial slurs under any circumstance, so I will not offer any. It is my sincere hope that Mr. Clarke hears and accepts my apology and believes me when I say it is honest and heartfelt."
But even that was not enough for Clarke and he didn’t accept Mr. Berglund’s “digital apology.”
"I'm taken away as CEO from the company. I don't have anything to do with the company anymore. I'm fired," Berglund told KNXV-TV. "I founded the company, but I'm gone. I'm history."
"It's so blown out of proportion, and it's ruined my life. It's ruined my company. It ruins everything about my situation right now," Berglund added.
Maupin hopes to arrange the meeting with Berglund and the company. This idea was supported by Clarke himself:
“I stand by Rev. Maupin and the communities’ demand to meet. I also am consulting with my lawyer, David Dow, to determine my rights and next steps. We want justice and we want reconciliation. That begins with transparency and Mr. Berglund and his company sitting down to meet us.”