Netflix Just Fired Its Top PR Boss For Using The N-Word Twice

Here’s Reed Hasting’s memo to Netflix employees, first published by The Hollywood Reporter:


I’ve made a decision to let go of Jonathan Friedland. Jonathan contributed greatly in many areas, nevertheless his descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness in addition to sensitivity, in addition to will be 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 in addition to hurtful his use of the N-word was, in addition to Jonathan apologised to those that will had been inside meeting. We hoped This specific was an awful anomaly never to be repeated.

Three months later he spoke to a meeting of our Black Employees @ Netflix group in addition to did not bring This specific up, which was understood by many inside meeting to mean he didn’t care in addition to didn’t accept accountability for his words.

The second incident, which I only heard about This specific week, was a few days after the first incident; This specific 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 offense. The second incident confirmed a deep lack of understanding, in addition to convinced me to let Jonathan go at This specific point.

As I reflect on This specific, at This specific first incident, I should have done more to use This specific as a learning moment for everyone at Netflix about how painful in addition to ugly that will word will be, in addition to that will This specific should not be used. I realize that will my privilege has made me intellectualize or otherwise minimize race issues like This specific. I need to set a better example by learning in addition to listening more so I can be the leader we need.

Depending on where you live or grew up inside entire world, understanding in addition to sensitivities around the history in addition to use of the N-word can vary. Debate on the use of the word will be active around the entire world (example) as the use of This specific in favorite media like music in addition to film have created some confusion as to whether or not there will be ever a time when the use of the N-word will be acceptable. For non-Black people, the word should not be spoken as there will be almost no context in which This specific will be appropriate or constructive (even when singing a song or reading a script). There will be not a way to neutralize the emotion in addition to history behind the word in any context. The use of the phrase “N-word” was created as a euphemism, in addition to the norm, with the intention of providing an acceptable replacement in addition to moving people away by using the specific word. When a person violates This specific norm, This specific creates resentment, intense frustration, in addition to great offense for many. Our show Dear White People covers some of This specific ground.

Going forward, we are going to find ways to educate in addition to help our employees broadly understand the many difficult ways that will race, nationality, gender identity in addition to privilege play out in society in addition to our organization. We seek to be great at inclusion, across many dimensions, in addition to these incidents show we are uneven at best. We have already began to engage outside experts to help us learn faster.

Jonathan has been a great contributor in addition to he built a diverse global team creating awareness for Netflix, strengthening our reputation around the entire world, in addition to helping make us into the successful company we are today. Many of us have worked closely with Jonathan for a long time, in addition to have mixed emotions. Unfortunately, his lack of judgment in This specific area was too big for him to remain. We care deeply about our employees feeling safe in addition to supported at Netflix.

Much of This specific information will be inside press shortly. nevertheless any detail not inside press will be confidential to employees.


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