Late night host Jimmy Fallon apologizes following detailed accusations of ‘toxic’ work environment

Late-night television host Jimmy Fallon apologized to staffers after a left-wing media outlet’s explosive report alleged that he was responsible for creating a “toxic” work environment that made their lives miserable.

As the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” which is one of television’s most storied programs, Fallon had big shoes to fill to live up to legendary former hosts including Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. But his allegedly erratic personality and “hissy fits” drove some employees to fits of crying, anxiety attacks, losing hair, and thoughts of suicide, according to Rolling Stone which contacted more than 50 past and present employees for the story.

After the bombshell dropped, Fallon was joined by showrunner Chris Miller in a Thursday Zoom call during which he apologized to staff which was also reported by the outlet, citing two employees who were in the meeting where the host said that he did not intend to  “create that type of atmosphere for the show.”

“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” Fallon said, according to the employees. “Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”

(Video: YouTube/KTLA)

Employees told Rolling Stone that the host’s talk “felt pretty earnest,” and that Fallon “also acknowledged the amount of turnover The Tonight Show has had in regard to its showrunners. They say Fallon emphasized that current showrunner Chris Miller is ‘a great leader’ and isn’t going anywhere.”

“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.”

The extended time off for the show due to the ongoing Hollywood writer’s strike had some of the employees willing to air their grievances over their boss to Rolling Stone, the once proudly counterculture magazine that now parrots establishment propaganda, and what they had to say wasn’t pretty.

“It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f**ked,” one employee told the outlet. “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.”

“Nobody told Jimmy, ‘No.’ Everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners,” said another anonymous ex-employee. “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.”

Rolling Stone cited employees who suggested that the host’s erratic behavior may have been at least partially attributable to boozing, “two employees say they saw Fallon seemingly inebriated at work in 2017. Another two employees said on separate occasions in 2019 and 2020 that they thought they smelled alcohol on Fallon’s breath when they entered an elevator with him during the workday. According to eight former employees, Fallon’s behavior seemed to be dependent on if he appeared to be hungover from the night before.”

“Seven former employees say their mental health was impacted by their alleged experiences working at The Tonight Show. These staffers say it was commonplace to hear people joking about ‘wanting to kill themselves,’ and that they would refer to guests’ dressing rooms in the office as ‘crying rooms’ because that’s where they would go to let out their emotions when they were upset with their alleged mistreatment,” according to Rolling Stone.

“With an ever-changing cast at the top, employees say they had nightmares related to work and were in a constant state of fear. One former employee says they had their first anxiety attack while working at the show and were put on anti-anxiety medication for the first time,” the outlet reported. “Another employee says they felt physical ramifications of their declining mental health, like their hair thinning and weakened nail beds. Four other employees say they are in therapy because of their experiences. Three people say they experienced suicidal ideation as a result of the working environment.”

“Mentally, I was in the lowest place of my life. I didn’t want to live anymore. I thought about taking my own life all the time,” a former employee said. “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?’”

“The producers felt this pressure, and that translated down to all of their employees. People that worked under them then felt this pressure that if you made one mistake, you were gone and would be easily replaced,” another former employee said. “You have all these NBC pages in the building who are ready, willing, and waiting to take your job.”

In a statement to People magazine, NBC said, “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.”

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