Top Netflix boss sacked over using N-word

A top Netflix executive has been fired after he allegedly used the "n-word" in front of shocked employees.

Jonathan Friedland, who worked as the streaming giant’s head of communications, was dismissed on Friday.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed his departure to staff in a company-wide memo.

Hastings said Friedland’s use of the slur showed a "deep lack of understanding" and apologised to staff for not acting sooner over the incident, believed to have taken place "several months ago".

Freidland, a former journalist, worked as the company’s Chief Communications Officer for over six years before his sacking.

"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 said in a tweet on Friday.

"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 our collective adventure."

Friedland was reported to have first used the word at a meeting with public relations staff about insensitive words in comedy.

“Several people afterwards told him how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the N-word was, and Jonathan apologised to those that had been in the meeting,” Mr Hastings wrote.

“We hoped this was an awful anomaly never to be repeated.”

However, just days later the executive used the racial term again during a meeting with black members of staff, who reported the incident to management.

In his email, Hastings said Friedland had "contributed greatly in many areas" but had shown an "unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity."

"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.

"Many of us have worked closely with Jonathan for a long time, and have mixed emotions. Unfortunately, his lack of judgment in this area was too big for him to remain. We care deeply about our employees feeling safe and supported at Netflix. "

During Mr Friedland’s time at Netflix it has risen to one of the web’s biggest players, reportedly valued at more than 140 billion dollars (£106 billion).

The former journalist joined the firm after working in financial and legal communications for The Walt Disney Company.

He previously spent more than 20 years as a foreign correspondent and editor for the Wall Street Journal and Far Eastern Economic Review, according to his Linkedin profile.

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