Los Angeles Actress Says Lyft Was Slow to Respond to Sexual Harassment Complaint

Los Angeles actress and comedian Anna Gillcrist is calling out Lyft.
California actress and comedian Anna Gillcrist says she was harassed by Lyft driver. Lyft/Twitter

A Los Angeles actress and comedian is calling out the ride-sharing service Lyft, saying company representatives didn't respond quickly to her complaint about a harassing driver. 

Anna Gillcrist, who also is a writer, said she got into a Lyft vehicle with two other passengers after attending a bachelorette party. After dropping off the other women, Gillcrist, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, said the driver repeatedly asked inappropriate questions about whether she had a boyfriend.

Gillcrist said she tried to ignore the questions, but the driver persisted. She finally answered in the affirmative, she said. As they neared her apartment, the driver leaned toward her and asked, "Is your boyfriend home?"

"The doors were locked," she told InsideEdition.com of the weekend incident. The driver didn't respond when she asked him to unlock the doors, she said. "So I popped the lock and jumped out."

She reported the driver to Lyft, she said, and spoke to a man who promised her the driver would be "reprimanded" and never paired with her again. She was offered a $5 credit, she said.

That didn't make her feel any better, she said. 

"I kept saying 'He needs to be fired. He shouldn't be picking up anyone anymore,'" she said.

She said she talked to several Lyft representatives, but didn't feel like she got a straight answer from any of them.

"After all these calls, I just had this gradual feeling of, 'This is not right.' They don't really give a s*** about women and women's safety," she said.

She said she suggested Lyft offer female drivers on request, but was told that would be discriminatory. "I understand that these people can only say what the company wants them to say," she said. 

Gillcrist said she found the $5 credit offer laughable. "That's worse than no money," she said. On the same night, a male friend told her, he complained that a Lyft driver didn't pick him up at the right location, she said. He got a $10 credit, she said. "That just made me laugh."

After social media posts about the incident went viral, she said, Lyft eventually contacted her to tell her the driver had been fired and her fare had been refunded.

In a statement emailed to InsideEdition.com, the company said, "The behavior described is deeply concerning. Safety is Lyft’s top priority and there is no place for harassment of any sort in our community. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we deactivated the driver from the Lyft platform. We have also reached out to the rider to offer our support."

Safety issues regarding ride-sharing services has been in the spotlight lately following the murder of a South Carolina college student who thought she was getting into her Uber ride. A Change.org petition started this week has gathered more than 190,000 signatures. It asks ride-hailing services to issue scannable codes on their apps to verify drivers and passengers.

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