Jimmy Fallon apologizes to ‘Tonight Show’ staff following report on ‘erratic behavior,’ ‘toxic workplace’
“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon has reportedly apologized to his staff following a bombshell report about allegations of his “erratic behavior” creating a “toxic workplace.”
“It’s embarrassing, and I feel so bad,” Fallon said, according to two employees who were on the Zoom call Thursday evening, per Rolling Stone. “Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”
The anonymous staffers told Rolling Stone Fallon said he did not intend to “create that type of atmosphere for the show.”
They said Fallon, who led the Zoom meeting alongside “Tonight Show” showrunner Chris Miller, “felt pretty earnest” with his apology. Fallon also reportedly acknowledged the showrunner turnover their show has had in recent years, stressing Miller is a “great leader” and won’t be going anywhere.
Earlier in the day, Rolling Stone published a damning story based two current and 14 former employees of “The Tonight Show” who shed light on the “ugly” behind-the-scenes drama.
Former employees said they were “belittled and intimidated” by their bosses, including Fallon himself. They recalled the “pretty glum atmosphere” left staffers worried about Fallon’s “outbursts” and “unexpected, inconsistent” behavior.
Employees remembered one particular day in 2017 when Fallon stumbled through rehearsal and acted “dismissive” and “irritable” during production. The employees surmised Fallon was drunk when he seemed to forget he had crossed out jokes on a sheet of paper.
“Nobody told Jimmy, ‘No.’ Everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners,” another former employee said. “You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit. Look how many showrunners went so quickly. We know they didn’t last long.”
Despite many employees voicing their concerns in HR complaints, problems allegedly continued.
Seven former employees admitted their mental health deteriorated because of the “toxic” workplace environment. They recalled that it was common to hear people joke about “wanting to kill themselves.” They would often designate guests’ dressing rooms as “crying rooms” because that is where they would go to hide from alleged mistreatment.
Four other employees said they are currently in therapy because of their time on the show. Three people said the working environment made them consider suicide.
“Mentally, I was in the lowest place of my life,” a former employee said. “I didn’t want to live anymore. I thought about taking my own life all the time. I knew deep down I would never actually do it, but in my head, I’m like, ‘Why do I think about this all the time?’”
Two staffers recalled an incident where Fallon scolded a crew member handling cue cards in front of comedian Jerry Seinfeld during a taping of the show and how Seinfeld told Fallon to apologize to the cue card handler, which Fallon allegedly did. According to the report, it was an “uncomfortable moment.”
A spokesperson for NBC said in a statement to Rolling Stone, “We are incredibly proud of The Tonight Show, and providing a respectful working environment is a top priority. As in any workplace, we have had employees raise issues; those have been investigated and action has been taken where appropriate. As is always the case, we encourage employees who feel they have experienced or observed behavior inconsistent with our policies to report their concerns so that we may address them accordingly.”
NBC did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
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