‘Ridiculous’ v ‘right thing to do’: Twitter split after Netflix fires communication boss over N-word

‘Ridiculous’ v ‘right thing to do’: Twitter split after Netflix fires communication boss over N-word
The Netflix chief spokesman was fired over the use of the N-word during a meeting on insensitive words with his staff. While some people on Twitter hailed the online streaming giant’s decision, others slammed it as ridiculous.

“I’m leaving Netflix after seven years,” Jonathan Friedland wrote in an apologetic post on Twitter, saying he “was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy.” The former senior executive said he feels “awful about the distress this lapse” caused to people at the company. 

Friedland, who was once a Disney executive, did not specify the way in which he was “insensitive.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, however, was quick to lift the veil of mystery, saying that Friedland used the N-word while speaking to his team. “His descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity,” Hastings stated in a long memo. 

The Netflix CEO said that Friedland used the “painful and ugly” term while speaking during a PR meeting about sensitive words. Nevertheless, it should never be used by non-Black people in any context, “even when singing a song or reading a script,” Hastings stressed.

The Twitterati are divided over Friedland’s firing. A number of users back the company’s decision, saying they sympathize with those who had to hear the racial slur.

Others – among them, those who apparently knew Friedland personally – fired back, saying he did great work for Netflix and didn’t deserve this treatment.

There were also accusations of double standards, claiming that Freedland was framed, as he used the word during a discussion on racially insensitive words.

Some claim that, despite there being no justification for using the word, the country has reached “a bizarre stage” given this particular case.

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