Netflix has announced the ouster of its public relations chief in the midst of a potential PR nightmare. Jonathan Friedland was let go by the streaming and media giant reportedly for using the N-word in a meeting.
The Hollywood Reporter writes:
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 Hollwood 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.”
Hopefully, Friedland carries the lessons learned from getting canned into his next position.