Indigenous actor “Uncle” Jack Charles has spoken out after being refused a cab fare -twice- in Melbourne yesterday.
Charles, 72, was turned away by two drivers at Flinders Street station yesterday afternoon, before a third driver agreed to take him.
“(My friend) jumped in the front and I went to jump in the back,” he said. “Well, I couldn’t jump in the back because he started to drive off, said he had knocked off.
“I knew what it was, immediately what it was, because you get to know what it is to be racially vilified.”
Jack Charles, whose credits include Cleverman, The Gods of Wheat Street, Black Comedy, Q&A and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, was refused a taxi twice last October, including after leaving the Victorian branch of the Australian of the Year awards ceremony, where he was named Victoria’s Senior Australian of the Year.
Charles now is petitioning for a roundtable meeting with police, senior taxi officials, drivers and union representatives to discuss “this chronic behaviour of racial profiling by taxi drivers.”
He no longer tried to hail cabs himself, instead asking “a complete stranger, a whitefella, to flag a taxi down for me and then say it’s for me.”