Why Donald Trump's Immigration Ban Led Celebrities to Delete Uber and Download Lyft

Uber app - #DeleteUber
The Uber app logo is displayed on an iPhone. Carl Court/Getty

U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries on Friday sparked heated discussion across the world over the weekend—particularly in Hollywood.

Stars including William H. Macy and the Stranger Things cast spoke out against the president's divisive action at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards, but on Twitter there was another target: Uber.

Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.

— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017

Hidden Figures actor Taraji P. Henson and Ron Perlman said they were deleting the ride-hailing app after it appeared to undermine efforts by taxi drivers protesting the immigration ban in New York City.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a union made up of more than 19,000 members, announced Saturday night it would stop serving taxis to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport for one hour in solidarity with thousands of protesters congregated at the airport. The NYTWA said the immigration ban was "inhumane and unconstitutional."

Related: SAG Awards: A Definitive Rundown of How Hollywood Reacted to Donald Trump's Executive Order

Later, however, Uber announced on Twitter it had turned off surge pricing—peak times when users are charged an inflated fee—around JFK, prompting criticism that it was seeking to profit from the lack of taxis.

#DeleteUber gained traction on Twitter late Saturday night as users posted screenshots of them deleting the app from their phones:

They were joined by the likes of Henson, Westworld and Thor: Ragnarok actor Tessa Thompson and American Horror Story star Denis O'Hare:

DELETING @UBER RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!!! #WeThePeople #LoveWILLwin #FuckHate #FuckOppression if you support HATE YO ASS GETS DELETED #BYEBITCH pic.twitter.com/tqGrgWTg7A

— Taraji P. Henson (@TherealTaraji) January 29, 2017

Deleted @uber. Happily. Highly suggest @catpaintapp though. pic.twitter.com/IcTVB5tbbo

— Tessa Thompson (@TessaThompson_x) January 29, 2017

Just deleted my Uber. If they won't stand with us, I won't ride with them. #Lyft #Way2Ride #nyctaxi pic.twitter.com/nV0BcW23eT

— Denis O'Hare (@denisohare) January 29, 2017

Uber said it "was not meant to break the strike" in a subsequent tweet. A spokesperson for the company further clarified its position to Fortune, saying: "The decision to turn off surge pricing was made specifically to avoid profiting from increased demand during the protest. The company has previously made a similar commitment to limiting surge pricing during disasters, after being accused of taking advantage of riders in times of need."

Earlier Saturday, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said Uber would pledge $3 million in support for its drivers affected by the "unjust" immigrant ban.

"Drivers who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen and live in the U.S. but have left the country, will not be able to return for 90 days," he wrote in an email to drivers that was subsequently published on Uber's website. "This means they won't be able to earn money and support their families during this period."

Kalanick said the company would compensate affected drivers for loss of earnings and offer legal assistance if they are unable to return to the U.S.

But this wasn't enough to quell the turning tide against Uber. Twitter users pointed out the company's CEO Travis Kalanick is a member of Trump's economic advisory board. That, for some people, was reason enough to delete the app.

Perlman, Star Trek actor George Takei and others encouraged people to delete Uber and download rival transportation app Lyft instead.

In a blog post, Lyft founders John Zimmer and Logan Green said the company would pledge $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) over four years to help the organization defend the U.S. constitution.

On Saturday, the ACLU was successful in securing a temporary injunction in federal court to block the deportation of immigrants held in U.S. airports after the executive order was signed.

Hello #lyft, and so long #Uber! https://t.co/NFQjU2a2hQ

— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) January 29, 2017

The boycott is on delete #uber get #lyft or #juno just as good and they dont track u when its off either!!

— John Leguizamo (@JohnLeguizamo) January 29, 2017

Thank you @lyft! @Uber deleted! Proud of this support to the @ACLU. https://t.co/Geowi73NTU

— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) January 29, 2017

Lyft donates $1mil to ACLU while Uber doubles down on its support for Trump. #DeleteUber

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 29, 2017