Indigenous actor speaks out after cab fare refusal


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.”

Source: Guardian


  1. As usual, only the facts that paint a particular version of the truth are being reported. Who hasn’t had a taxi driver refuse to take them because they are finishing or going to a different side of town? You can have all the round tables you want, taxi drivers will still refuse fairs because it is inconvenient for them, regardless of the passengers skin colour.

    • Quite staggering that you don’t accept he has been the victim of racism. Of course taxi drivers reject short fares. The man knows racism when he sees it, I’m sure he’s had a lifetime of experience to discern it.

      • I don’t know if it was or wasn’t. I wasn’t there and I’m guessing you weren’t either. The cabbies also haven’t been given the right of reply. So to suggest that you are staggered that I won’t accept the story as reported is itself staggering but not surprising. Just glad you are not a judge in court.

  2. I’m a “whitefella” & taxi’s refuse fares all the time in Sydney CBD, especially if you are only going to the other side of the city. I’ve heard many excuses, “I’m finished,” “I’m only taking a fair to (insert random suburb) because I’m finishing in 10mins,” “Not far enough” etc.

    Luckily we have ride sharing apps now. I don’t think I’ve used a taxi since Uber X arrived.

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