Netflix has sacked its head of communications over his use of the “N-word” during conversations with work colleagues.
Jonathan Friedland is said to have first used the slur on at least two occasions.
In an internal memo to staff reported by Variety, head of the streaming giant Reed Hastings said the initial incident took place several months ago in a public relations meeting about sensitive words that offend in comedy.
A few days later, in discussion with human resources about the incident, he is said to have used the term again in front of two black employees.
During a later meeting with the Black Employees @ Netflix group, Mr Friedland allegedly failed to mention the episode, which was perceived as a failure to care or accept accountability for his words.
Mr Hastings said he only learned of Mr Friedland’s alleged use of the term on a second occasion in recent weeks, which prompted him to sack him.
Mr Hastings said Mr Friedland had “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”.
He added: “Many of us have worked closely with Jonathan for a long time, and have mixed emotions.
“Unfortunately, his lack of judgement in this area was too big for him to remain.”
Mr Friedland, a former journalist, had worked at Netflix for seven years.
After his firing, he wrote on Twitter: “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.
“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.”