Netflix’s chief public relations spokesperson is on his way out after making a controversial and racist remark.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Friedland, the streaming service’s head public relations spokesperson, has been fired after making “insensitive” remarks to his team.
Friedland allegedly used the N-word in a company meeting with Netflix employees, sources said, and Friedland was later reported for his behavior. A company-wide email was sent to employees Friday, from CEO Reed Hastings.
"I’m leaving Netflix after seven years," Friedland wrote. "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.”
Friedland’s role as a communications spokesperson involved managing media and content publicity for Netflix’s original content. Before Netflix, Friedland worked as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Far Eastern Economic Review.
“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 said. “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."
Friedland’s replacement has not been named. This caps off a big news week for the streaming giant, with Luke Cage Season Two premiering, Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight being signed to a multi-year deal and Lucifer getting picked up by the service after its cancellation by Fox.