Netflix’s top spokesman fired over use of racial term

In this Aug. 2, 2017 file photo, Netflix Executive Communications Director Jonathan Friedland poses for photo during a red carpet event in Mexico City. (AP/Marco Ugarte, File)
Updated 23 June 2018
0

Netflix’s top spokesman fired over use of racial term

  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he fired the company’s top spokesman over use of the N-word
  • In a memo to employees, published by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed by Netflix, Hastings says Friedland used the word twice

SAN FRANCISCO: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he fired the company’s top spokesman over use of the N-word.
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.”


Facebook makes reality TV its new weapon for web supremacy

Updated 17 October 2018
0

Facebook makes reality TV its new weapon for web supremacy

  • The company’s head of video Paresh Rajwat said Facebook Watch was now available across the world
  • MTV boss Chris McCarthy predicted that Facebook Watch was going to “create a whole a new genre of shared reality TV”

CANNES: Facebook said Wednesday it was reviving the pioneering MTV reality show “The Real World” as its secret weapon to lure viewers away from YouTube.
The social media giant said it was also trying to harness the formidable online power of the “cute kitten” factor with a new show called “World’s Most Amazing Dog” on its new Facebook Watch platform.
Users who think their pooch is cute enough to be a contender can enter audition videos from their phones, it told TV executives at MIPCOM in Cannes, the world’s top entertainment showcase.
The company’s head of video Paresh Rajwat said Facebook Watch — which began to be rolled out in the US last year — was now available across the world, with “the time people spend on it increasing by 14 times since.”
“The Real World” was one of the first “social experiment” TV reality shows when it aired in 1992, spawning others like “Big Brother.”
It turns on the moment when “seven strangers put together stop being polite and start being real,” said Facebook’s content and strategy chief Matthew Henick.
Three versions of the new Facebook variant of the show will be launched simultaneously in the US, Mexico and Thailand.
Users will be able to “co-watch with their friends and interact with the contestants,” stealing a march on its Internet rivals, Henick told the gathering in the French Riviera resort.
Rajwat said Facebook Watch was “completely open” and was already being used by broadcasters, with new contestants on Germany’s “X Factor” recently being introduced to fans on the platform before they made their TV debuts.
He said its interactivity means “watching videos doesn’t have to be a passive experience... with friends able to co-watch together in real time.”
A new service called “Watch Party” allowing “people to watch and comment all at the same time” has already been used on celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s “Veggie Challenge,” he added.
A Facebook Watch show called “Sorry For Your Loss” about a “young widow struggling to put her life back together has led to long meaningful conversations about dealing with grief,” Rajwat said, with many users “offering help to people who lost their beloveds. This is where Facebook is different,” he said.
MTV boss Chris McCarthy predicted that Facebook Watch was going to “create a whole a new genre of shared reality TV,” and help shows lift off when it was “harder and harder to break through with more and more content” out there.