According to multiple people present in the studio last night’s taping of Steven Colbert’s interview with Uber’s Travis Kalanick was interrupted at least twice by heckling from NY cab drivers in the audience.
Two separate times during the interview with Uber guy, some cabbies in the balcony yelled stuff and interrupted the conversation… They were criticizing Uber’s disruption of the NYC cab system, and they were very aggressive and made everyone rather uncomfortable… I mean, I don’t blame them, their argument is valid. But I initially thought it was a bit, but the crew started looking around frantically… Instead of having the men removed, Stephen acted with complete respect and control. He listened intently to what they had to say… When the guy finished, Stephen said that he was planning on asking a similar question, and politely asked the man to be seated…. He then turned back to the interview and addressed exactly what the man had yelled about. It was very smooth. The whole thing was cut, tho…. Then five minutes later, another man got up and yelled something else. The Uber guy started to talk back to him, but Stephen calmly touched his arm and quieted both him and the cab driver in the balcony. He said that he would ask the man’s question “in a more respectful way.”… Then he again respectfully asked the man to sit down, and he asked exactly what the man had yelled about. Very, very smooth transition.
The NY Daily News later named the hecklers as New York Taxi Workers Alliance members Bill Lindauer, Victor Salazar, Asim Akhtar, and Ryan Richardson.
Although none of the heckling made the final broadcast, viewers did get to see Colbert asking a series of questions to Kalanick about the company’s “disruption” of NY cab drivers, its move towards driverless cars and its policy of increasing prices during terrorist atatcks. “Is that how we should be treating each other?” Colbert asked…