Jimmy Fallon Apologizes to Staff After Being Accused of Creating a Toxic Work Environment

Jimmy Fallon has been one of the premier late-night television hosts for nearly 15 years. He debuted Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in March 2009 and was eventually named as the successor to Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show in February 2014. Today, his show averages roughly 1.3 million viewers. 

While it’s not the most popular late-night talk show in the United States – that crown goes to Gutfeld! on Fox News – it’s clear America loves Jimmy Fallon and what he brings to the late-night atmosphere. With that being said, it appears some of his staff members don’t feel the same way about the late-night host. 

On Thursday (September 7), Rolling Stone published an article that accused Jimmy Fallon of creating and maintaining a toxic work environment for several years now. The outlet allegedly spoke with two current employees and 14 former employees of The Tonight Show before coming to their conclusion. 

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In the ‘exposé’ by Rolling Stone, several employees said they witnessed Jimmy Fallon ‘snap at crew members, express irritation over the smallest of things, and berate and belittle staffers out of frustration.’ It’s something that might come as a surprise to most people because he’s generally a positive person. 

Aside from the 16 current/former employees who came forward, Rolling Stone allegedly spoke with 80 employees in total. “While many of them praised Fallon’s immense talent and comedic gifts, not a single one agreed to speak on the record or had positive things to say about working on [the show],” they wrote. 

In the hours after the piece was published, NBC released a statement that voiced how ‘incredibly proud’ they were of the show and how committed they were to ‘providing a respectful working environment.’ While they admitted to receiving complaints from employees, the complaints were handled accordingly.

“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,” they wrote in the statement – adding that ‘action has been taken where appropriate’ after an investigation.

Jimmy Fallon Responds to Accusations in Zoom Call With Staff Members

Mere hours after the ‘exposé’ was published by Rolling Stone, Jimmy Fallon apologized to staff members – during a Zoom meeting – for any toxicity he created inside the workplace over the past few years. He claimed that it was never by intent and he would work harder to address any concerns in the future. 

“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,” one employee recalled Fallon saying during the Zoom call on Thursday (Sept. 7). “I want the show to be fun, [it] should be inclusive to everybody. It should be the best show.” 

Many who were part of the meeting felt his apology was ‘earnest’ and that he meant what we said. In fact, one current employee spoke with PEOPLE and described Fallon as ‘super communicative’ and ‘a really, really positive guy.’ Other employees are feeling ‘frustrated’ over the recent accusations against the host.

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“He makes a point of commending you when you do a great job and when he’s happy,” the employee said to PEOPLE – adding that his feedback has always been constructive and helpful. “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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