Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pamela Anderson also doesn’t want you to take an Uber

(Photo: David M. Benett / Getty)

When she’s not using poisoned vegan sandwiches to bring down WikiLeaks, Pamela Anderson is finding other ways to stop the dissemination of things—even literal semen, as seen in her recent anti-porn crusade. Anderson’s evolution from beach-running Baywatch star to the sand in the world’s cracks has been a long and gradual one, beginning with the animal rights activism that led her to crusade against both eating meat and wearing fur. But lately she’s turned her attention to the most dangerous animal, the rhino man, whose primal urges she first raised the alarm about in a Wall Street Journal op-ed warning of “pornography’s corrosive effects on a man’s soul.” And now she’s continued that mission in a new PSA, reminding women that many of these sex-crazed men also drive Ubers.

In a clip titled “The Driving Game,” Anderson turns in a convincing portrayal of herself as a contestant on a Dating Game parody, surveying a trio of men angling to drive her home. The first two hail from unnamed ride-sharing apps who neglected to give them proper drug tests or background checks, or even so much as confirm that they weren’t Eastern European caricatures from terrible ’80s movies. So naturally, Anderson goes with the third driver, who’s licensed and trained and has a nice chauffeur’s hat. “You can’t always vet the driver you’re using, but the service you’re using should,” Anderson says. “Be safe. Think before you app.”


Anderson’s urgent, if grammatically suspect message comes amid a time of increased scrutiny toward Uber, Lyft, et al, as ride-share drivers have been named in a recent rash of sexual assaults. Of course, as this investigative piece from The Atlantic found out last year, there isn’t exactly a lot of statistical evidence to back all that up yet—more of an anecdotal sense that Uber is more dangerous, particularly for women, than taking a taxi.


The question of whether Uber and Lyft have done enough to vet their drivers is also contentious: Both companies have already responded to the ad by saying the suggestion that they don’t perform background checks simply isn’t true. Still, the fact that they don’t use fingerprint scans like taxi companies has been enough to keep Uber out of cities like Austin, which would prefer to take the far safer strategy of letting 1,000 drunk assholes drive home from Sixth Street every night.

Whether you believe Uber is markedly less safe than the licensed, dependable terror of a taxicab is, of course, a personal decision—though it is worth noting that this ad was sponsored by the National Limousine Association, who obviously has a separate, financial stake in getting people off ride-sharing. But maybe now that you’ve seen this PSA, the next time you’re considering taking an Uber home from the bar—much like the next time you’re considering eating a burger or watching porn—you’ll stop your self-indulgence long enough to think about how it would make Pamela Anderson feel.


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