The CEO of Netflix dismisses a senior executive after the use of racial indulgence


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Reed Hastings

He said he fired his chief communications officer after he used a racial insult in his conversations at work multiple times, an episode that has created a moment of introspection in the streaming giant.

Jonathan Friedland,

The executive who was fired said in a series of tweets that he spoke insensitively while talking to his public relations team about "words that offend comedy."

He did not address the insult to any coworker, people familiar with the said matter, but using the word instead of referring to it as the "N word" offended his colleagues.

"Leaders have to be irreproachable in the example we established and unfortunately I did not meet that standard," Mr. Friedland said in a tweet. "I feel bad for the anguish that this lapse caused to people in a company that I love and where I want everyone to feel included and appreciated."

In a memo to employees, Mr. Hastings said Mr. Friedland He apologized after several people who were in the meeting with his public relations team told him "how inappropriate and hurtful was his use of the word N".

A few days after the incident, Friedland said that the insult again in a meeting with two black human resources employees who were Mr. Hastings said that, to help him deal with the first instance,

Three months later , Mr. Friedland spoke in a group of "Black Employees @ Netflix" and did not raise his error ", which was understood by many at the meeting means that he did not care and did not accept responsibility for his words," said Mr. Hastings.

Mr. Hastings said he only heard about the Human Resources incident this week, which convinced him to fire Mr. Friedland. He said that in the reflection, after the first incident he should have "done more to use it as a learning moment for everyone on Netflix about how painful and ugly that word is."

Mr. Hastings blamed his own "privilege" for taking him to "intellectualize" and "minimize racial problems like this."

"I need to give a better example by learning and listening more to be the leader we need." he said.

Mr. Hastings went into detail describing how the use of the word N in music and film has created confusion about whether it is okay to say it or not. "For people who are not black, the word should not be spoken because there is almost no context in which it is appropriate or constructive (even when a script is sung or read)"

He noted that the program "Dear White" People "on Netflix covers part of the terrain on these issues and said the streaming company would try to find more ways to educate its employees about" the many difficult ways in which race, nationality, gender identity and privileges play in society and our organization. "

Mr. Hastings said that Netflix began hiring outside experts to help the company learn more quickly on issues of diversity and inclusion, adding that" we are unequal at best. "

Messrs. Hastings and Friedland have been together for a long time, and Friedland had a great job with the company that oversaw the communications and global marketing of Netflix's vast library of programs and films, and also played an important role as Netflix expanded worldwide. in recent years.

Mr. Friedland previously worked as a public relations executive in

Walt Disney

, and before that, he was editor and correspondent abroad for The Wall Street Journal.

"Jonathan has been a great contributor and has formed a diverse global team creating awareness for Netflix, strengthening our reputation around the world and helping us in the successful company we are today," said Hastings, adding that many have " found emotions ".

"Unfortunately, his lack of judgment in this area was too great for him to stay," he said. [19659006] Write to Shalini Ramachandran at [email protected]

He appeared in the print edition of June 23, 2018 as & # 39; Slurs Prompt Netflix Firing & # 39 ;.


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