Netflix PR Chief Jonathan Friedland Fired for Using ‘N-Word’ in Meeting

Netflix confirmed to The Daily Beast on Friday that it has fired its chief communication officer, Jonathan Friedland, after he repeatedly used the “n-word” in front of employees. “Jonathan contributed greatly in many areas, but his descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity, and is not in line with our values as a company,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote in a memo to staff that was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. According to Hastings, Friedland first used the word in a meeting about sensitive language several months ago and then repeated it a few days later to two black HR employees at the company. Hastings said he only found out about the second incident this week and expressed regret for not acting sooner. “I’m leaving Netflix after seven years,” Friedland wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon. “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.” In a subsequent tweet that was later deleted, he added, “Thanks. Rise high, fall fast... all on a couple of words.”

— Matt Wilstein