Netflix, the movies and TV shows streaming service has reportedly sacked the chief spokesman Jonathan Friedland after he used the N-word twice during a meeting with the staff. He apologized and announced his departure from Netflix in a tweet.
“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,” he tweeted. “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,” Friedland added.
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Friedland has spent over seven years at Netflix, and was previously working with the Walt Disney Company. According to the Hollywood Reporter, chief executive Reed Hastings addressed Friedland’s departure in a lengthy internal memo saying, “His descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity.”
Hastings mentioned that initial incident occurred “several months ago” in a meeting, and again a few days later with two black human resources employees when he was discussing the original transgression. While Friedland immediately apologized after initial objections were raised, the fact that he did it again “confirmed a deep lack of understanding, and convinced me to let Jonathan go,” said Reed.
The news comes after Netflix reported 125 million subscribers worldwide, and the company is expecting 6.2 million more subscribers in the second quarter.