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Netflix appoints first head of ‘inclusion strategy’

After firing its former PR chief for using racist language, Netflix has now hired an inclusion strategy expert to help eradicate barriers based on race at the company.

Verna Myers has been named vice president of inclusion strategy. The news arrives after Netflix’s former PR chief, Jonathan Friedland, was fired for making “insensitive” remarks in June.

In the newly-created role, Myers will help create strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.

For the past two decades, through The Verna Myers Company, she has consulted with a wide range of major corporations and organisations on how to help eradicate barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other differences.

“Having worked closely with Verna as a consultant on a range of organisational issues, we are thrilled that she has agreed to bring her talents to this new and important role,” said Jessica Neal, Netflix chief talent officer.

“As a global company dedicated to attracting the best people and representing a broad range of perspectives, Verna will be an invaluable champion of our efforts to build a culture where all employees thrive.”

On the same day, Netflix has also announced that it will host two new titles from Asian talent.

One is a Mandarin-language drama, The Rise of Phoenixes, that will run for 70 episodes and is loosely based on Huang Quan, a novel by Tianxia Guiyuan.

The series is coproduced by Netflix, along with Croton Media, K.Pictures, Hao Mai Culture, Iqiyi, COL group and New Film Association. It will launch on September 14.

Netflix is also set to premiere a stand-up comedy special by Ken Jeong, which will be directed by Crazy Rich Asian’s Jon M. Chu. The special will arrive on the platform in 2019.