The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon apologized to his staff on Thursday after he was accused by 16 current and former employees of the show of having a ““toxic” work environment.
The embattled host, who was spotted arriving at JFK Airport later Thursday, called his staff via Zoom on Thursday night to ask for forgiveness.
“I feel so bad I can’t even tell you,” Fallon told employees Rolling Stonewho told the story of Fallon’s “erratic” behavior behind the scenes, quoting two people in the meeting.
Employees claim Fallon’s words were “pretty serious” when he apologized.
“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” Fallon reportedly said. “I’m sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”
“I want the show to be fun, [it] “It should be inclusive for everyone,” Fallon reportedly added. “It should be the best show.”
The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon apologized to his employees on Thursday after 16 current and former employees of the show accused him of creating a “toxic” work environment
Former and current employees said the star’s “hissy fits” forced them to sob in “cry rooms,” caused their hair to fall out and triggered suicidal thoughts.
They claim Fallon’s inconsistent behavior, which included “outbursts” toward workers, was the starting point for a “pretty dark atmosphere.”
While the talk show host is known for his hilarious on-screen anecdotes with a range of games, challenges and trivia earning him millions of views online every week, it is claimed that Fallon suffers from unexpected mood swings.
“It was like Jimmy was in a bad mood and everyone’s day sucked,” a former employee said Rolling Stone.
“In the office people weren’t joking, they weren’t standing around talking to each other.” It was like focusing on what you have to do because Jimmy’s in a bad mood and if he sees that he might fly away.”
It is claimed that his inconsistent and snarky attitude is reflected throughout the hierarchy of the show, which has seen nine showrunners in nine years.
“I just don’t think they’ve found a leader who can hold it together,” a former employee told Rolling Stone.
None of the nine showrunners had any negative or positive comments about the show.
The 48-year-old wore a casual look in jeans and a white T-shirt with a beige cardigan over it
Fallon was spotted in London on September 6, just days before the allegations surfaced
A Rolling Stone investigation by Krystie Lee Yandoli revealed the allegations against Fallon and The Tonight Show
The talk show host is known for his hilarious anecdotes on screen, but behind the scenes concerns have been raised about Fallon’s “erratic” behavior at work
The publication reached out to more than 50 current and former Tonight Show employees for the story. While many praised Fallon for his ability to crack a joke, no one raised their hand to speak or had anything good to say about the work environment. The 16, who spoke on condition of anonymity, worked in a variety of roles, from the production team to the writers’ room.
But a source close to The Tonight Show told DailyMail.com: “The things reported in this article happened years ago and simply do not reflect today’s atmosphere.”
“Nobody disputes that things have happened in the past, but all previous problems have been resolved and everyone has moved on since then.”
“Many of these are old anecdotes that have already been reported, and it is unclear to anyone why they are brought up again years later.”
“So many current employees have positive things to say about the show, but they aren’t given a chance.”
“That’s not who Jimmy is, and that’s not what the show looks like today at all.”
Among other things, a former employee said that the environment changed during the transition from “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to “The Tonight Show.”
“The producers felt this pressure, and it affected all of their employees.” “The people who worked under them then felt the pressure that if you made a mistake, you were gone and could be easily replaced,” said a former employee.
“You have all these NBC sites in the building ready and willing and waiting to take your job.”
Many of the staff said they left the show for mental health reasons, with seven saying their overall wellbeing had been affected by their alleged experiences.
Others said they were fired from the show and the guest rooms were supposedly “cry rooms” to vent their emotions when it all got too much.
“Nobody said to Jimmy, ‘No.'” “Everyone was walking on eggshells, especially the showrunners,” claimed another former employee.
Fallon seems completely mesmerized by the guests who appear on the show (pictured: actress Keke Palmer)
“You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a tantrum.” Look how many showrunners left so quickly. We know they didn’t last long.’
Many of the employees who have spoken out have described living in fear during their employment at the talk show. Some said they had had nightmares or fears related to their work.
One person says she was given anti-anxiety medication for the first time after suffering an anxiety attack while working on the show.
Another says her hair thinned and her nail beds weakened as a physical response to the stress, while someone else lost nearly 20 pounds and cried herself to sleep every night.
“I know other people who were there [my] department that they were also dissatisfied with [mis]“But there was never an issue where either of us had the power to say anything,” the employee said.
“It just always felt like, ‘You should be grateful that you have a job, and you should be grateful that you have this position at this trade show, at this network. Everyone wants to be in this spot. “You worked hard for this here – it shouldn’t be something you’re ungrateful about.”
Four people said they sought therapy because of their experiences, while three said they had suicidal thoughts.
“Mentally I was at the lowest point of my life.” I didn’t want to live anymore. “I thought about taking my own life the whole time,” said a former employee.
“I knew deep down I would never actually do it, but in my head I’m like, ‘Why do I keep thinking about this?'”
A former employee said the ordeal of working on the show was “a bummer” because it was her “dream job.”
“Late night writing is many people’s dream job, and if they get involved in it, it very quickly becomes a nightmare.”
“It’s sad that it is this way, especially when you know it doesn’t have to be this way.”
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is known for its popular segments and challenges
Concerns about Fallon’s behavior have been raised previously. In 2015, the New York Post published an article citing sources saying NBC feared his drinking had become “excessive.”
However, in an interview with The New York Times in 2017, he denied the claims, saying, “I could never hold down a day job if I drank every night. ‘It just wears you down when you’re down.’
However, two employees claim they saw him at work under the influence of alcohol that same year. Two other workers believed they smelled alcohol on his breath when he entered an elevator with them during the day in 2019 and 2020.
Eight other employees claimed his energy and attitude was because he was hungover.
While The Tonight Show, produced by Universal Television, Broadway Video and Electric Hot Dog – Fallon’s production company, is currently on hold due to the writers’ strike, it has been renewed by NBC through 2026.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, an NBC spokesperson said The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon was no different than anywhere else.
“We are incredibly proud of The Tonight Show and providing a respectful work environment is a top priority,” the spokesperson said.
“Like any workplace, we had employees who raised issues; These were investigated and, if necessary, action was taken.
“As always, we encourage employees who feel they have experienced or observed behavior inconsistent with our policies to report their concerns so we can address them appropriately.”
DailyMail.com has reached out to NBC and Fallon’s representatives for further comment.