A Cleveland alt-weekly said that Uber backed out of a deal it had made with the paper to stock its cars with copies of the publication during the Republican National Convention because of its Donald Trump cover.
The cover of The Cleveland Scene’s June 13 issue featured Donald Trump perched on Tower City in downtown Cleveland, King Kong-style. The cover was one of several images in the alt-weekly’s GOP convention-themed adult coloring book, which was described by editor Vince Grzegorek as “An RNC Coloring Book, Because If They Can Act Like Children, So Can You.” It featured images of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) sipping tea, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holding a hoagie and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wearing a shirt with the sign of the Zodiac killer.
Grzegorek tweeted Wednesday that Uber was put off by the image:
— Vince Grzegorek (@vincethepolack) July 13, 2016
A spokesperson for Uber said in a statement emailed to TPM on Thursday that “our goal is to celebrate Cleveland and help provide mobility during what promises to be a busy time for the city. We’ll leave the politics to the pundits.”
Cleveland Scene Publisher Andrew Zelman told BuzzFeed News that Uber first approached him about the opportunity. But Zelman said that when the company received the July 13 issue that would appear in its cars, he got a call from a marketing person who reminded him that there would be Trump supporters, delegates and other Republicans in Uber cars around Cleveland during the convention.
“They felt that carrying our paper would take away from that bipartisan vibe because of the comics poking fun of some of the Republican establishment,” Zelman told BuzzFeed.