Uber booked half the theatre for the opening night of a play inspired by the scandals that took down former CEO Travis Kalanick

  • Uber bought half of the seats to the London premiere of “Brilliant Jerks,” a play inspired by the car-ride startup.
  • “Brilliant Jerks” is said to have been inspired in part by the infamous blog post by former Uber employee Susan J. Fowler, alleging a toxic and sexist culture at the company. Fowler’s blog set off a chain of events ultimately leading to the resignation of Travis Kalanick as CEO.
  • The ride-hailing app’s social team booked the tickets, saying they regularly organise theatre trips and that it would be “fun to see the production.”

Uber booked more than half of the seats available for the London premiere of “Brilliant Jerks,” a satirical play inspired by the car-ride startup’s numerous scandals, and featuring a character similar to former CEO Travis Kalanick.

The company purchased 50 of 90 available seats for the show’s opening night at London’s Vault theatre, as originally reported by the Financial Times.

The Financial Times reports that the play was inspired in part by the now-infamous blog post by Susan J. Fowler on Uber’s toxic and sexist work culture, setting off a chain of events that ultimately led Kalanick to resign as chief executive of the company he cofounded.

According to the Vault’s website, “Brilliant Jerks tells the story of three people – a driver, a coder, and a CEO – working for one tech monolith, but living worlds apart.” One of the lead characters of the play is Tyler Janowski, the former CEO of a fictional ride-hailing startup, who’s trying “to figure out where it all went wrong.”

In a statement to Business Insider, an Uber spokesperson says this is just a company bonding activity like any other:

“Our staff social team regularly organise nights out and activities from table tennis tournaments to theatre trips. After seeing shows like ‘Wicked,’ ‘An American in Paris’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ the social team thought it would be fun to see this new production – especially as the tickets were on a buy one get one free offer!”

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