Jimmy Fallon has reportedly apologized to his staff after past and current members of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon claimed he had fostered a “toxic” work environment. On Thursday morning (September 7), Rolling Stone published a report that alleged that “The Tonight Show has been a toxic workplace for years” due to Fallon’s “erratic behavior.” The outlet reportedly spoke with 14 former employees and two current ones (the publication reportedly contacted about 80 employees). Hours after their article was published, Rolling Stone reported that the talk show host and showrunner Chris Miller addressed the recent claims over a Zoom call with employees.
Fallon’s Apology and Plans for The Tonight Show
Apparently, the two employees who joined the Zoom meeting claimed that Fallon, 48, said he didn’t intend to “create that type of atmosphere for the show.” They added that he said during the call, “It’s embarrassing, and I feel so bad. Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.” The current employees noted that Fallon’s apology “felt pretty earnest” and claimed the comedian acknowledged the constant change in leadership regarding its showrunners, emphasizing how Miller was “a great leader” and that there were no plans of that changing. Fallon allegedly added, “I want the show to be fun, [it] should be inclusive to everybody. It should be the best show.”
Following Rolling Stone’s initial expose, NBC told People in a statement: “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.”
Employees Describe Fallon’s Workplace
In the Rolling Stone story, employees said they witnessed Fallon “snap at crew members, express irritation over the smallest of things, and berate and belittle staffers out of frustration.” However, one staffer described him to People as “super communicative” and “a really, really positive guy.” The employee noted that Fallon “makes a point of commending you when you do a great job and when he’s happy.” He added that the host has been “very constructive and helpful for me in continuing to put together a show that he’s happy with. I’ve never been belittled, yelled at, nothing like that. It’s all exactly how a boss should give feedback to an employee.” The outlet noted that “while many of them praised Fallon’s talent and comedic gifts, no one agreed to speak on the record out of fear of retaliation or had positive things to say about working on The Tonight Show.” Nor would any of the program’s nine showrunners since 2014 gave any statements of support.