Netflix Parts Ways With PR Chief Jonathan Friedland Following ‘Insensitive’ Comments

June 22, 2018, 8:54 PM UTC
First Anniversary of Netfliz in Mexico
PUEBLA, MEXICO - AUGUST 29: Jonathan Friedland poses for a photo during the celebration of the first anniversary of Netflix in Mexico on August 29, 2012, in the city of Puebla, Mexico. (Photo by Alfonso Manzano/ Images)
Alfonso Manzano— Images

Netflix’s chief communications officer, Jonathan Friedland, is leaving the company after making “insensitive” comments to members of his team, he revealed Friday on Twitter.

“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,” Friedland 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. I feel honored to have built a brilliant and diverse global team and to have been part of our collective adventure,” he continued.

The Hollywood Reporter said Friedland used the N-word in a meeting, and some staffers reported the incident to management.

The publication obtained a company-wide memo that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sent out Friday afternoon.

“I’ve made a decision to let go of Jonathan Friedland. Jonathan contributed greatly in many areas, but his descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity, and is not in line with our values as a company,” the memo said.

Netflix declined to comment on Friedland’s departure when contacted by Fortune.

Friedland, a former Disney communications executive, joined the streaming giant in 2011 as vice president of global corporate communications. He was promoted the following year.

He was in charge of managing publicity for Netflix’s original series, movies and comedy specials.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he spent four years as Los Angeles bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal before transitioning into public relations.

Prior to becoming L.A. bureau chief, he served as a Latin America correspondent for The Journal.