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Netflix comms boss sacked for using very bad word

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dowie, 23 Jun 2018.

  1. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 48,268

    I read these headlines about the story initially thinking Communications director, he really should know better, what a numpty, just don't use *that* word FFS!

    But then the details of the story seem to paint a different picture:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44585072

    https://deadline.com/2018/06/jonath...ef-following-insensitive-comments-1202415977/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...han-Friedland-fired-using-N-word-meeting.html

    While I wouldn't expect there to be many reasons why someone in a regular office job should utter the word actually the fact that he was a head of communications and the meeting was a PR meeting where the topic of discussion was sensitive words... well I guess given they are a company that puts out content where that word might be used then it isn't quite so far fetched that someone might use it in a descriptive sense in such a meeting. He's not referring to any person, he's not repeating some rap lyrics, he's not trying to use it in some misguided humorous way - he's the head of communications trying to have an adult conversation about sensitive words and he's used it in a descriptive context. But people got triggered...

    He's then apparently apologised to the people in the meeting later he's seemingly had to meet with two (the articles makes a note of the fact that they're black) HR personnel about the incident and seems to have uttered the word a second time there - almost certainly in a descriptive sense again. Presumably, though he knows not to use it in a big meeting given the flake he received, he perhaps thought that he could have a candid/factual discussion with HR? Seemingly not, they were apparently triggered too and apparently he hadn't learned his lesson...

    So now some random exec who probably wasn't a racist and was presumably otherwise quite decent at his job gets sacked because, well that is expected these days... he's of course issued a grovelling apology on twitter. It just seems bizarre, I don't think it would be quite as controversial in the UK, it isn't unheard of to see for example white people use the word in a purely descriptive sense on UK TV shows (Frankie Boyle, Stuart Lee etc...) but we do seem to follow the US in this sense and it does seem that as a society we're getting a bit oversensitive to the point where things get a bit silly.
     
  2. Hotwired

    Soldato

    Joined: 17 Aug 2009

    Posts: 7,208

    Interesting comparison of white comedians to a white senior director in a large company.

    Do you think it's a surprise to the organisers of TV shows when the people they booked head off into the gutter with their routine?

    His own problem if he managed to misread a business situation and use inappropriate language. Twice. I've seen people get sacked before by doing stupid things at work under the false belief that the staff around them are ok with it. Next thing you know there's an internal investigation going down and once that happens all discretion is out the window and the rule book gets examined.
     
  3. sigma

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Nov 2006

    Posts: 18,226

    "In a descriptive context"?

    What does that actually mean? Why couldn't he say black person or use the term 'n-word'?

    I'm not sure why there is an uproar about this? A director especially has to be careful about what they say because they represent the company. They can be fired for a lot less. Non-story. It's only in the press because of the word used...
     
  4. Dis86

    Caporegime

    Joined: 23 Dec 2011

    Posts: 25,225

    Location: Northern England

    Really? The fact that it has to be referred to as "the n-word" is utterly pathetic. We live in the real world not Harry potter's universe. It's like he who must not be named ffs.

    Saying that we've got 2 out of the 4 triggered horsemen in here, just need explicit and Vincent next!
     
  5. Minstadave

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Jan 2004

    Posts: 26,767

    Location: Rutland

    All seems utterly farcical, it's a word, one that is widely used in film and TV yet you can't mention it whilst discussing its use in a film and TV company without being sacked?

    Seems very immature.
     
  6. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2013

    Posts: 21,826

    Assuming you mean me, give some Examples where I've ever been "triggered"
     
  7. Dis86

    Caporegime

    Joined: 23 Dec 2011

    Posts: 25,225

    Location: Northern England

    Right now.
     
  8. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2013

    Posts: 21,826

    I'm neither offended nor are me feelings hurt.

    I always ask for examples when somebody baselessly accuses me of something, and very rarely do they ever back their statements up.

    With regard to the story. Need context of what happened and details.

    If it was literally a meeting about how to treat/deal with sensitive words, and he used the sensitive word in a list scenario then it's a complete overreaction to sack him.
     
  9. Efour

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Sep 2005

    Posts: 26,101

    Location: Norrbotten, Sweden.

    Hastings said he was alerted only this week to a second incident, which took place just days after the first, where Friedland had used the word again - to two black employees in HR who were trying to help him deal with the first offense.

    'The second incident confirmed a deep lack of understanding, and convinced me to let Jonathan go now,' he wrote.


    If he is calling Employees N words to their faces then, ok.
    With almost zero context it seems like a kneejerk reaction.
     
  10. sigma

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Nov 2006

    Posts: 18,226

    I don't know where you work but where I work the directors are very well spoken and have excellent communication skills that have very clearly been honed and of course trained, for some.

    Like I said, if they got fired for saying something else they shouldn't have said then this wouldn't be a story.

    N-word, f-word, c-word... you name it, I would not expect a director to utter those words, f word perhaps if something hit the fan but that'd most likely be behind closed doors. Especially from a comms director lol.

    I'm not triggered at all, I'll happily call people names but I do have the capacity to realise what situation I'm in.

    We also don't know the exact situation. If he was reading it off a list then it's most likely a case of unfair dismissal.
     
  11. Dis86

    Caporegime

    Joined: 23 Dec 2011

    Posts: 25,225

    Location: Northern England

    Context. It's amazingly important.

    Are we going to get to a point where dictionaries are censored and no longer contain the word and instead jist simply say "n-word"? At this rate we're probably going to see book burnings!
     
  12. sigma

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Nov 2006

    Posts: 18,226

    I've added a bit to my post since your quote.

    I agree, context is key here but as neither of us were there we have to assume a lot of things.

    To reiterate, I really don't think the directors I have worked with would use this word in a professional capacity.
     
  13. Dis86

    Caporegime

    Joined: 23 Dec 2011

    Posts: 25,225

    Location: Northern England

    The context as described is that it was a seminar regarding offensive terms in comedy. It's hard to discuss the offensive terms without using them! Grown adults don't talk about the f word. Or d word. Or x word. That's what children do. Adults use the word when describing it.
    The second occasion was him relaying what happened during the first.
     
  14. insideline

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 12 Dec 2012

    Posts: 584

    I hate to break it to you Dis86 but you’re clearly the most triggered person in this thread so far...
     
  15. Dis86

    Caporegime

    Joined: 23 Dec 2011

    Posts: 25,225

    Location: Northern England

    Discussing how pathetic something is doesn't mean you're triggered.

    Fancy offering an opinion on the point of discussion though?
     
  16. stockhausen

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2006

    Posts: 11,409

    Everyone who hasn't crawled out from under a rock should know by now that the acceptable word is "African American".
     
  17. Freakbro

    Capodecina

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    Location: Lincs

    He hadn't even replied to the thread! :D
     
  18. Freakbro

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Jul 2010

    Posts: 18,114

    Location: Lincs

    One of my favourite scenes in Three Billboards

    :D
     
  19. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: 22 Nov 2006

    Posts: 17,715

    Again one of these stories, but nothing saying what the actual context was.

    Someone said a naughty word, big deal. Did they direct it at someone or use it to describe someone?
     
  20. Worthy

    Underboss

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,342

    Location: Manchester

    Those articles refer to him being in a "PR meeting about sensitive words".

    Surely if the meeting was to discuss sensitive words that may be broadcast, then surely that would have come up during the discussion. The second "offense" was a meeting with HR regarding the first "offense", so how could it not have come up as part of that!?

    I'm with Dis on this one, sounds like the daily dose of PC nonsense we get subjected to.