Netflix CEO Fires Top Executive After Use of Racial Slur

Netflix CEO Fires Top Executive After Use of Racial Slur

Netflix
Inc.


NFLX -1.05%

Chief Executive

Reed Hastings

mentioned he fired his chief communications officer after he used a racial slur in his conversations at work on a number of events, an episode that has created a second of introspection on the streaming juggernaut.

Jonathan Friedland,

the manager who was fired, mentioned in a collection of tweets that he spoke insensitively whereas speaking to his public relations workforce about “words that offend in comedy.”

He didn’t direct the slur at any co-worker, folks accustomed to the matter mentioned, however utilizing the phrase slightly than referring to it because the “N-word” offended his colleagues.

“Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set and unfortunately I fell short of that standard,” mentioned Mr. Friedland in a tweet. “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.”

In a memo to workers, Mr. Hastings mentioned Mr. Friedland apologized after a number of individuals who had been within the assembly along with his PR workforce advised him “how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the N-word was.”

Just a few days after the incident, Mr. Friedland mentioned the slur once more in a gathering with two black human assets workers who had been trying to assist him take care of the primary occasion, Mr. Hastings mentioned.

Three months later, Mr. Friedland spoke at a “Black Employees @ Netflix” group and didn’t increase his lapse, “which was understood by many in the meeting to mean he didn’t care and didn’t accept accountability for his words,” Mr. Hastings mentioned.

Mr. Hastings mentioned he solely came upon in regards to the HR incident this week, which satisfied him to fireside Mr. Friedland. He mentioned that on reflection, after the primary incident he ought to have “done more to use it as a learning moment for everyone at Netflix about how painful and ugly that word is.”

Mr. Hastings blamed his personal “privilege” for main him to “intellectualize” and “otherwise minimize race issues like this.”

“I need to set a better example by learning and listening more so I can be the leader we need,” he mentioned.

Mr. Hastings went into element describing how the use of the N-word in music and movie has created confusion about whether or not or not it’s ever OK to say. “For non-black people, the word should not be spoken as there is almost no context in which it is appropriate or constructive (even when singing a song or reading a script).”

He famous that the present “Dear White People” on Netflix covers some of the bottom on these points and mentioned the streaming firm would attempt to discover extra methods to teach its workers about “the many difficult ways that race, nationality, gender identity and privilege play out in society and our organization.”

Mr. Hastings mentioned Netflix has began to have interaction exterior specialists to assist the corporate study quicker about variety and inclusion points, including that “we are uneven at best.”

Messrs. Hastings and Friedland have lengthy been shut, and Mr. Friedland had an enormous job on the firm overseeing world-wide communications and advertising and marketing for Netflix’s huge library of reveals and films. He additionally performed an necessary position as Netflix expanded globally lately.

Mr. Friedland beforehand labored as a public-relations government at

Walt Disney
Co.

, and earlier than that, was an editor and international correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

“Jonathan has been a great contributor and he built a diverse global team creating awareness for Netflix, strengthening our reputation around the world, and helping make us into the successful company we are today,” Mr. Hastings mentioned, including that many have “mixed emotions.”

“Unfortunately, his lack of judgment in this area was too big for him to remain,” he mentioned.

Write to Shalini Ramachandran at [email protected]

Appeared within the June 23, 2018, print version as ‘Slurs Prompt Netflix Firing.’

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