Netflix Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland was forced out after the company’s CEO said he used the N-word more than once in front of colleagues.
The former CCO issued an apology Friday on Twitter and said he would leave the company after working there for the last seven years.
The tweet by Friedland said that leaders must be beyond reproach in examples we set and he unfortunately came up short of the high standards when he was insensitive while speaking to his team about words that offend during comedy.
The tweet continued by saying that he felt awful about distress that his lapse had caused people at Netflix, which is a company he loves and where everyone should be appreciated and included.
Variety received a copy of CEO Reed Hastings’ memo to his employees that explained what had taken place.
The memo recounts one incident that took place “a number of months ago” when the N-word was used by Friedland during a meeting held with the public relations staff at Netflix during a talk related to sensitive words. Several of those in attendance told him they had been offended by him using the complete word, said Hastings memo.
A couple of days later the word was used again by Friedland in front of two employees who are black in the human resources department of Netflix, while they were talking to him about the previous incident, said Hastings in his memo to employees.
Hasting also included that in his opinion there is not any way to neutralize emotion and history that is behind that world regardless of the context.
Hasting added that the N-world was created as a type of euphemism, and the norm as a way to provide a replacement that is acceptable and shifting people from the use of the specific word.
Hastings memo added that many people at Netflix had worked closely with the CCO for a long period and hold mixed emotions, but unfortunately a lack of judgment on his part was too big and he could not remain.
No official comment was issued by Netflix on Friedland’s departure. No details were released as to what kind, if any, compensation package the CCO left with.