Jonathan Friedland Fired at Netflix After Using N-Word in Meeting

Jonathan Friedland Fired at Netflix After Using N-Word in Meeting

In prolonged inner memo, CEO Reed Hastings addressed letting go high communications govt Jonathan Friedland: “His descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity.”

Netflix is letting go of its high communications spokesman.

Jonathan Friedland, who’s served because the streaming big’s chief communications officer for the previous six years, is out at the corporate after “insensitive” remarks he made to his crew. Sources say that Friedland used the N-word in a gathering with different Netflix staffers, a few of whom later reported the incident. Per insiders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings despatched a company-wide electronic mail explaining Friedland’s firing round 12:45 p.m. PT on Friday (see beneath for the complete memo.)

Friedland, a former Disney govt, first joined Netflix in February 2011 as vp world company communications, and was promoted to the highest comms position the next yr. A substitute for Friedland has but to be named.

“I’m leaving Netflix after seven years,” stated Friedland in a press release 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.”

In his submit, Friedland oversaw media and content material publicity for the streamer’s authentic sequence, movies and specials in 190 international locations around the globe. In addition to beforehand serving as senior vp company communications at The Walt Disney Co., Friedland was additionally previously a international correspondent and editor for The Wall Street Journal and Far Eastern Economic Review.

The shake-up comes as Netflix, led by Hastings, ended the first quarter with 125 million subscribers worldwide, with expectations so as to add 6.2 million in the second quarter. Just final week, the corporate’s shares closed three percet greater to a brand new report of $404.98, even because the broader markets fell. The platform has been more and more pushing into worldwide territories and increasing its roster of originals to incorporate extra unscripted content material of late.

Here’s the complete memo Hastings despatched out to Netflix workers about Friedland’s firing.


I’ve decided to let go of Jonathan Friedland.  Jonathan contributed tremendously in many areas, however his descriptive use of the N-word on at least two events at work confirmed unacceptably low racial consciousness and sensitivity, and isn’t in line with our values as an organization.

The first incident was a number of months in the past in a PR assembly about delicate phrases.  Several individuals afterwards advised him how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the N-word was, and Jonathan apologised to those who had been in the assembly.  We hoped this was an terrible anomaly by no means to be repeated.  

Three months later he spoke to a gathering of our Black Employees @ Netflix group and didn’t deliver it up, which was understood by many in the assembly to imply he didn’t care and didn’t settle for accountability for his phrases.  

The second incident, which I solely heard about this week, was a couple of days after the primary incident; this time Jonathan stated the N-word once more to 2 of our Black workers in HR who have been attempting to assist him cope with the unique offense.  The second incident confirmed a deep lack of knowledge, and satisfied me to let Jonathan go now.

As I replicate on this, at this primary incident, I ought to have performed extra to make use of it as a studying second for everybody at Netflix about how painful and ugly that phrase is, and that it shouldn’t be used. I understand that my privilege has made me intellectualize or in any other case reduce race points like this. I have to set a greater instance by studying and listening extra so I could be the chief we want.

Depending on the place you reside or grew up in the world, understanding and sensitivities across the historical past and use of the N-word can differ. Debate on the usage of the phrase is lively around the globe (instance) as the usage of it in well-liked media like music and movie have created some confusion as as to whether or not there may be ever a time when the usage of the N-word is suitable. For non-Black individuals, the phrase shouldn’t be spoken as there may be nearly no context in which it’s acceptable or constructive (even when singing a track or studying a script). There is just not a technique to neutralize the emotion and historical past behind the phrase in any context. The use of the phrase “N-word” was created as a euphemism, and the norm, with the intention of offering an appropriate substitute and transferring individuals away from utilizing the particular phrase. When an individual violates this norm, it creates resentment, intense frustration, and nice offense for a lot of.  Our present Dear White People covers a few of this floor.  

Going ahead, we’re going to discover methods to teach and assist our workers broadly perceive the various troublesome ways in which race, nationality, gender id and privilege play out in society and our group. We search to be nice at inclusion, throughout many dimensions, and these incidents present we’re uneven at greatest. We have already began to have interaction outdoors consultants to assist us study sooner.  

Jonathan has been an ideal contributor and he constructed a various world crew creating consciousness for Netflix, strengthening our status around the globe, and serving to make us into the profitable firm we’re at present. Many of us have labored intently with Jonathan for a very long time, and have combined feelings. Unfortunately, his lack of judgment in this space was too huge for him to stay.  We care deeply about our workers feeling protected and supported at Netflix.  

Much of this data will probably be in the press shortly.  But any element not in the press is confidential to workers.  


Friendland additionally tweeted about his exit on Friday:

He later tweeted out, “Thanks. Rise high, fall fast. All on a couple of words….” after which shortly deleted it. THR obtained a screenshot of the tweet earlier than it was eliminated.

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