Talk show host Jimmy Fallon apologises to The Tonight Show staff for ‘toxic’ work environment
LOS ANGELES – American talk show host Jimmy Fallon has apologised to staff members of The Tonight Show following allegations of a difficult work environment.
“It’s embarrassing, and I feel so bad. Sorry if I embarrassed you, your family and friends,” Fallon, 48, told The Tonight Show employees during a Zoom meeting on Thursday, as reported by American entertainment outlet Variety.
“I feel so bad I can’t even tell you,” said the actor-comedian, adding that he wanted the NBC TV programme to be fun. “It should be inclusive for everybody, it should be funny, it should be the best show, the best people.”
The apology came after American music magazine Rolling Stone published an article on Thursday where 16 current and former employees accused the popular late-night talk show host of being “erratic”, drunk at work and creating a “toxic work environment”.
Rolling Stone said it had approached an additional 80 current and former employees, but “not a single one agreed to speak on the record or had positive things to say about working on The Tonight Show”.
According to the article, some of these staffers claimed their mental health worsened during their time on the show, where they alleged Fallon could lash out under pressure.
While Fallon’s representatives declined to comment to Rolling Stone, a spokesperson for NBC told the magazine: “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 behaviour inconsistent with our policies to report their concerns so that we may address them accordingly.”
Fallon has hosted the popular talk show since he took over from Jay Leno in 2014, broadcasting live from the Rockefeller Center in New York, but it is currently on hiatus due to the strikes by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA unions representing writers and actors.