Netflix CEO fires top spokesman for using the N-word: 'Incident confirms a deep lack of understanding'
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he fired the company’s top spokesman over the use of the N-word.
The spokesman, Jonathan Friedland, confirmed in tweets that he was leaving the company, saying he was insensitive in speaking with his team about words that offend in comedy.
I’m leaving Netflix after seven years. Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set and unfortunately I fell short of that standard when I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy.
— jonathan friedland (@jsf33) June 22, 2018
The former Netflix employee went ahead and expressed his sorrow over the whole episode.
I feel awful about the distress this lapse caused to people at a company I love and where I want everyone to feel included and appreciated. I feel honored to have built a brilliant and diverse global team and to have been part of our collective adventure. — jonathan friedland (@jsf33) June 22, 2018
In a memo to employees, published by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, and confirmed by Netflix, Hastings says Friedland used the word twice — first in a meeting of public relations staff several months ago about sensitive words. Hastings wrote that several people told Friedland how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the word was.
Hastings says Friedland, who is white, later repeated the word with human resources staff trying to address the original incident. Hastings wrote the second incident “confirmed a deep lack of understanding.”
Updated Date: Jun 23, 2018 10:54 AM