A Damning Hollywood Film Probably Wouldn’t Help Uber Hire Women

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When it comes to hiring women and underrepresented minorities
into engineering positions at Uber, the company’s head of HR
Liane Hornsey thinks “it’s going to be bloody hard.”

Hornsey isn’t wrong. “We don’t think they’re all going to want
to rush to Uber, but we want to build relationships with those
people over time,” Hornsey told the Wall Street
Journal
. Underrepresented groups have certainly been
turned off by the string of
scandals recently plaguing the company—and if a few months of
very bad headlines is a deterrent, wait until there’s an
incriminating Hollywood movie.

Deadline Hollywood reports
that a movie about former Uber engineer Susan Fowler is in the
works, with the working title Disruptors. Fowler’s blog post spotlighting sexual
harassment and discrimination at the company was a catalyst for
Uber’s scandal-ridden decline. Fowler reportedly promised her
life rights to the film, which will be written by Allison
Schroeder, the screenwriter behind Hidden Figures, and
produced by former Disney production executive Kristin Burr.
The film doesn’t have a studio attached yet.

While Uber got rid of its embattled CEO Travis Kalanick
and diminished his power within the company, new
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi still faces a litany of scandals,
including federal investigations, messy lawsuits, and a vacuous executive suite. And
now, potentially: a film about the company’s toxic work
culture.

This isn’t the first Uber movie to be shopped around, but it
certainly sounds the most damning. In April, both Universal and
Fox reportedly dropped serious cash on two separate Uber-themed movies which both
sound expectedly terrible. One is a comedy starring Will
Ferrell about “an Uber driver stuck with a deranged
escaped-convict passenger,” while the other, titled
Stuber, “takes place over one harrowing night in the
life of an Uber driver who picks up a grizzled cop working the
most dangerous case of his career.” There are more Hollywood
movies about Uber being shopped around than there were women considered for the CEO role.

A drama focused predominantly on the company’s toxic work
culture won’t help Hornsey’s crusade to lure more women and
underrepresented candidates into the company. And as for
whether the HR chief has reached out to Fowler, Hornsey said
that she has given her a public “thank you.”

“I don’t know whether there would be any benefit in meeting
her,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “I’m seriously working
for my employees today; she’s an ex-employee.”

An ex-employee with a Hollywood movie, baby.

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