Shannon Murray tweeted her thanks to the “7 or 8 people” who stood by her at the taxi rank in Cardiff Central train station on Tuesday night.
The actress, who was paralysed from the waist down in a diving accident when she was 14, explained how she was relieved to see a saloon car pull up as she prefers to transfer out of her wheelchair and sit in the car rather than ride in her chair in specially-adapted taxis.
When she moved towards the car and opened the door, she claims the taxi driver started “yelling” at her and shouting that she had to use a wheelchair taxi as it wouldn’t fit in the boot.
“He kept shouting ‘no wheelchair’ at me, and he said it wouldn’t fit in the boot, even though I told it him that it collapses,” she told Wales Online .
“I was feeling embarrassed. He was being loud, I was being loud, and there was a queue of people behind us, so obviously it was a very public altercation.”
Shannon says she stood her ground and assured him that it would fit perfectly “despite the embarrassment and humiliation at being yelled at in front of all the other people queueing”.
She told the driver he had no right to refuse her – even though she, by this point, had no intention of getting in the cab – and asked him for his licence number so she can report him.
What happened next restored her faith in humanity
The actress says she then witnessed the taxi driver, who she tamely named ‘pri** face’, ask the next person in line, a businessman, to get in his cab.
She wrote: “The passenger refused saying he’d just seen what happened and wasn’t getting in that guy’s cab.
“One by one every single person in the queue refused to get in his cab because of the way he treated me.
“I don’t know any of their names, but to the 7 or 8 people who had my back I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. #kindnessofstrangers.”
Shannon doesn’t say whether the taxi driver eventually got a fare, but it’s safe to say he was left humiliated by their display of support.
The actress, who splits her time between London and Los Angeles, said she then got in the next available taxi, which was the same model of car – and her new driver told the original driver he should have taken her.
She said she has reported the incident to Cardiff council.
“Discrimination comes with the territory unfortunately, and I think you end up developing thick skin and ignoring, or accepting it, and going to have a cry. Looking back at Tuesday, I vocalised it, and I can’t say that I’ve always done that,” she said.
Shannon has had more support on Twitter since she posted what happened to her, receiving more than 9,700 retweets and 29,000 ‘likes’