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By: IANS | Los Angeles | Published: June 23, 2018 4:08:52 pm Netflix PR chief Jonathan Friedman fired for making racial comments. Related News

Netflix chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland is leaving the company following a controversy over insensitive remarks. Friedland announced the departure on Twitter Friday, saying that he felt awful about “the distress this lapse caused”, reports variety.com.

Friedland had joined Netflix as VP of communications in 2011 and became the companys chief communications officer a year later. His ascend at the company coincided with Netflixs first major PR debacle, the proposed split of its DVD business into a separate company called Quickster, which Netflix quickly walked back on. Before joining Netflix, Friedland had served in communications roles for Disney. He was a journalist by trade before crossing over to work in comms and worked for a decade for the Wall Street Journal, where he served as the papers Los Angeles bureau chief.

A Netflix spokesperson referred Variety to Friedlands Twitter statement, saying that the company didnt have anything further to add. There is no word on any possible replacement for Friedland, reports variety.com.

Im 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.

— jonathan friedland (@jsf33) June 22, 2018

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 our collective adventure.

— jonathan friedland (@jsf33) June 22, 2018

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In a memo to staff on Friday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings described two incidents in which Friedland used the N-word, writing of Friedland, “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.”

“Ive made a decision to let go of Jonathan Friedland. 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.”

“The first incident was several months ago in a PR meeting about sensitive words. Several people afterwards told him how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the N-word was, and Jonathan apologised to those that had been in the meeting. We hoped this was an awful anomaly never to be repeated.”

“The second incident, which I only heard about this week, was a few days after the first incident; this time Jonathan said the N-word again to two of our Black employees in HR who were trying to help him deal with the original offence. The second incident confirmed a deep lack of understanding, and convinced me to let Jonathan go now.”

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