Netflix has fired its chief spokesman Jonathan Friedland for using the "N-word" during meetings with staff. The company's CEO reportedly said the incidents showed "unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity."
Reed Hastings, CEO of the streaming service Netflix, confirmed Friday the company's chief spokesman Jonathan Friedland (main picture) had been removed from his post.
Friedland announced his departure on social media, admitting he used the "N-word" during meetings with Netflix staff.
"I'm 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," he tweeted.
"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," he added.
Citing Hasting's internal Netflix memo, Hollywood Reporter magazine wrote that Friedland was fired for "his descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work."
'A deep lack of understanding'
The incidents showed "unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity" and were "not in line with our values as a company," Hastings continued in the memo, which was reportedly sent around on Friday.
Netflix's CEO said Friedland used the objectionable word several months ago, after which several employees complained about it. The former chief spokesman apologized for it, but used it again in a meeting with HR employees who were "trying to help him deal with the original offense," Hastings said.
The second incident "confirmed a deep lack of understanding, and convinced me to let Jonathan go now," he added.
A former journalist, Friedland had also served in communications roles for Disney.
shs/rc (AFP, AP, dpa)