Netflix’s Chief Communications Officer Fired After Using the N-Word Twice in Company Meetings

MILAN, ITALY – OCTOBER 22: (L-R) Ted Sarandos, Jonathan Friedland, Tawni Cranz and Reed Hastings attend a red carpet for the Netflix launch at Palazzo Del Ghiaccio on October 22, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

Netflix is letting go of its top communications spokesman.

Jonathan Friedland, who’s served as the streaming giant’s chief communications officer for the past six years, is out at the company after “insensitive” remarks he made to his team. Sources say that Friedland used the N-word in a meeting with other Netflix staffers, some of whom later reported the incident. Per insiders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sent a company-wide email explaining Friedland’s firing around 12:45 p.m. PT on Friday (see below for the full memo.)

Friedland, a former Disney executive, first joined Netflix in February 2011 as vp global corporate communications, and was promoted to the top comms role the following year. A replacement for Friedland has yet to be named.

“I’m leaving Netflix after seven years,” said Friedland in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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. 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 this collective adventure in building the world’s leading entertainment service.”

In his post, Friedland oversaw media and content publicity for the streamer’s original series, films and specials in 190 countries around the world. In addition to previously serving as senior vp corporate communications at The Walt Disney Co., Friedland was also formerly a foreign correspondent and editor for The Wall Street Journal and Far Eastern Economic Review.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Bryn Elise Sandberg and Lesley Goldberg