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Reed Hastings, Jonathan Friedland

Netflix's top spokesman fired over use of racial term

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he fired the company's top spokesman over use of the N-word.

Jonathan Friedland
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2017 file photo, Netflix Executive Communications Director Jonathan Friedland poses for photo during a red carpet event in Mexico City. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he fired the company's top spokesman over use of the N-word. The spokesman, Friedland, confirmed in tweets Friday, June 22, 2018, that he was leaving the company, saying he was insensitive in speaking with his team about words that offend in comedy. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

The spokesman, Jonathan Friedland, confirmed in tweets that he was leaving the company, saying he was insensitive in speaking with his team about words that offend in comedy.

In a memo to employees, published by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed by Netflix, Hastings says Friedland used the word twice — first in a meeting of public relations staff several months ago about sensitive words. Hastings wrote that several people told Friedland how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the word was.

Hastings says Friedland, who is white, later repeated the word with human resources staff trying to address the original incident. Hastings wrote the second incident "confirmed a deep lack of understanding."

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