Late-night television host Jimmy Fallon was defended by staff members following a brutal profile in which disgruntled workers claimed that he was responsible for creating a “hostile” work environment that caused them mental trauma.
Fallon, who has hosted NBC’s “The Tonight Show” since 2014 was shredded by the ex-staffers who told left-wing establishment outlet Rolling Stone that his “hissy fits” drove them to despair, including hair and weight loss, fits of crying and thoughts of suicide, with suggestions that the host’s behavior may have been at least partially attributable to alcohol consumption.
In response to the story, Fallon and current showrunner Chris Miller held a Zoom call in which he apologized. “It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” he said, according to the employees who were in the meeting. “Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”
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“I want the show to be fun, [it] should be inclusive to everybody,” the host said, according to the employees. “It should be the best show.”
“It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f**ked,” one employee told Rolling Stone. “People wouldn’t joke around in the office, and they wouldn’t stand around and talk to each other. It was very much like, focus on whatever it is that you have to do because Jimmy’s in a bad mood, and if he sees that, he might fly off.”
But the Rolling Stone piece was heavily slanted against Fallon and other staffers are telling a much different story about the embattled host, four of whom spoke anonymously to the Daily Mail.
The general environment on the show was described by one producer who has worked there for two years as “supportive, collaborative, and everybody’s happy” and that the host “goes above and beyond to make sure crew and celebrity guests are comfortable,” according to the outlet.
“From the day I walked in, I felt as if everybody was very energized and excited about creating a very positive workplace, especially Jimmy, and I work closely with him,” the producer said. “I’m with him on a daily basis. I have delivered bad news to him. I have disagreed with him about some things that he has wanted to do. I cannot say enough good things about him, about how he is an empathetic person, how he hears other people’s opinions, how he’s open to being flexible.”
“The Jimmy that I have seen, walks the halls and talks to everybody. He has never belittled anyone. I’ve never seen him snap at anyone. The celebrities come and he’s nice to everybody. He knows every crew member,” a staff member said.
“Everybody’s talking all the time about how happy they are,” the staff member is quoted. “Everybody’s smiling, everybody’s laughing. The teams are well-oiled machines, we all communicate well with one another.”
Another producer said that the host goes out of his way to make staffers and the crew “feel like a family” and that the show’s offices “feel more like a home than a workplace.”
“He arranges social events for all of us like trivia nights, speed bowling, and staff talent shows,” the outlet quotes staffers. “I’ve received his high-fives in the hallways and his handwritten notes for birthdays, life milestones and a job well done.”
A producer who was identified as a 14-year veteran of “The Tonight Show” said, “It’s been a community and a family that I feel lucky to have gotten to grow up in and I’ve felt nothing but support from the people around me – from Jimmy to other producers to all of my colleagues at the show.”
Another current employee told People that Fallon is “super communicative” and “a really, really positive guy.”
“He makes a point of commending you when you do a great job and when he’s happy,” the employee said. “And any feedback I’ve received is always I like, ‘Hey, we don’t need to do that again.’ It’s 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.”
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