Netflix Chief Communications officer Jonathan Friedland has been fired for reportedly using racial slurs in a staff meeting. Picture: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Netflix Chief Communications officer Jonathan Friedland has been fired for reportedly using racial slurs in a staff meeting. Picture: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

PR boss fired for ultimate blunder

NETFLIX has fired its chief communications officer after he made "insensitive remarks" in a meeting with colleagues, reportedly using the N-word multiple times.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a memo sent out to staff, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said they were letting go of Jonathan Friedland because "his descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity."

Friedland was the top communications spokesman for the streaming service for six years, joining as vice president global corporate communications after having previously been an executive for Disney.

Sources revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the firing followed Netflix staff members reporting Friedman for having said the N-word during a team meeting.

Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix sent out an internal memo to staff telling them of Friedland’s firing, citing his “descriptive use of the N-word” as the reason. Picture: Ken Ishii/Getty Images
Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix sent out an internal memo to staff telling them of Friedland’s firing, citing his “descriptive use of the N-word” as the reason. Picture: Ken Ishii/Getty Images

In a statement, Friedland confirmed his departure, saying that he felt "awful" for what he had done. "Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set," he said, "and unfortunately I fell short of that standard when I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy.

"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 honoured to have built a brilliant and diverse global team and to have been part of this collective adventure in building the world's leading entertainment service."

As chief of communications at Netflix, Friedland was responsible for media and content publicity for the service's original series, films and specials in 190 countries around the world.

His replacement is yet to be named.


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