Uber CEO Apologizes for Calling Khashoggi Murder a Mistake

"I said something in the moment I don't believe."

Uber CEO
Everybody makes mistakes, right?
Michele Tantussi/Getty Images
By Kayla Kibbe / November 11, 2019 2:57 pm

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has taken to Twitter to apologize for bizarre comments he made during an interview with Axios on HBO in which he called the brutal 2018 murder of Washington Post opinion writer Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government a “mistake.”

“I think that government said that they made a mistake,” Khashoggi said in the interview, which aired Sunday, before going on to compare Khashoggi’s murder to Uber’s accidental killing of a woman in Arizona back with a self-driving car last year.

“We’ve made mistakes too, right, with self-driving, and we stopped driving and we’re recovering from that mistake,” Khosrowshahi said. “So I think that people make mistakes, it doesn’t mean that they can never be forgiven. I think they have taken it seriously.”

The Uber CEO has since changed his tune after facing extreme backlash in response to the off-color remarks. According to Axios, Khosrowshahi reached out with a follow-up statement attempting to backtrack on his remarks after the interview. “I said something in the moment that I do not believe,” the statement reportedly read. “When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused.”

Khosrowshahi has since reiterated the statement on Twitter. “There’s no forgiving or forgetting what happened to Jamal Khashoggi & I was wrong to call it a ‘mistake,'” he wrote in a tweet Monday morning.

His critics seem to agree. “A mistake is accidentally not replacing the toilet paper if you’re the last to use it,” one Twitter user wrote, accompanied by the once again trending #BoycottUber. “A mistake is not brutally murdering by hacking a journalist who opposed his government.”

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