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Why the Simone Biles & Jonathan Van Ness Uber Eats Ads Are a Problem

A young girl in a gymnastics leotard back-flips across the floor and sticks her landing. She tells us what she’ll be eating that evening.

Then a grown man with a full beard, wearing the same leotard as the girl, tells us what he’ll be eating that evening—the same thing the girl will. He copies the girl’s floor routine and lands beside her.

The girl asks the man, “Is that my leotard?”

Initially the man lies and says, “No,” but then admits, “Yes.”

The girl’s face gives away her distaste. “You can keep it,” she says.

Despite Simone Biles’ insistence that she’s proud of the Uber Eats ads she did with Jonathan Van Ness, her reactions to him in the ads are appropriate and revealing.

In another of the spots Van Ness asks Biles, “Can we be besties?” to which she hesitantly replies, “I guess.”

No, Ms Biles. You do not have to capitulate to anyone who makes you so clearly uncomfortable.

The rest of us are supposed to believe that these advertisements are for Uber’s meal-delivery service, Uber Eats. But meal delivery is not what they’re actually selling.

Uber Eats is telling us that it’s perfectly okay for a grown man to steal a young girl’s clothes, copy everything she does, and then expect her to give him best-friend status for it.

And the ad expects the rest of us to applaud a gaslighting, misogynist stalker and the girl whose boundaries he trampled.

Thank you, Uber Eats. There is no better, more illuminating visual that encapsulates so powerfully why the transgender-rights movement is actually a men’s-rights movement.

I can tell you what I won’t be eating tonight: anything delivered by Uber Eats.

Maria Keffler is a partner at Partners for Ethical Care. She lives in Arlington, VA. Contact Ms Keffler via

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