Jimmy Fallon Apologizes After Workplace Allegations

Jimmy Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” has issued an apology to his staff following allegations of a “toxic” work environment, as reported by Rolling Stone. The apology was made during a Zoom call with the show’s staff after the story was published. Fallon expressed regret for any unintended creation of a negative atmosphere on the show, according to unnamed employees who were present during the call.

Fallon was quoted as saying, “It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” and “Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.” He also expressed his desire for the show to be fun and inclusive for everyone, aiming to make it the best show possible.

The Rolling Stone story featured accounts from 16 current and former employees who described a challenging work environment on “The Tonight Show,” which they claim had negative impacts on their mental health. The individuals chose to remain anonymous due to fear of professional repercussions.

NBC, the network that airs “The Tonight Show,” issued a statement included in the Rolling Stone report, expressing pride in the show and emphasizing their commitment to a respectful working environment. The statement also acknowledged that employee issues have been raised and investigated, with appropriate action taken when necessary.

Recently, Fallon has been appearing on the “Strike Force Five” podcast with fellow late-night hosts John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Seth Meyers. The podcast’s proceeds are intended to support out-of-work staff from the hosts’ respective shows.

The Rolling Stone report included allegations from two current and 14 former employees who described the show’s working environment as far beyond what is considered normal in the high-pressure television industry. They claimed that the negative environment began at the top, with Fallon’s “erratic” behavior leading to constant changes in the show’s leadership teams.

Former employees alleged that they were “belittled and intimidated” by their bosses, including Fallon. They recalled an atmosphere of fear due to Fallon’s “outbursts” and “unexpected, inconsistent” behavior. Despite numerous HR complaints, the problems reportedly persisted.

Seven former employees claimed that their mental health suffered due to the “toxic” workplace environment. They recalled joking about “wanting to kill themselves” and using guests’ dressing rooms as “crying rooms” to escape alleged mistreatment. Several employees reported having “nightmares” about work and living in a “constant state of fear.”

However, the show’s mood reportedly improved significantly when showrunner Chris Miller joined in 2022. A producer told the New York Post, “There’s a new wave that came in a year and a half ago and has just made everything change.”