Responding to a Rolling Stone report published Thursday that alleged a workplace environment at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” marred by toxicity, an NBC spokesperson stated that the network is “incredibly proud of ‘The Tonight Show’” and that “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,” the statement said. “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.”
An insider close to the situation expanded on the network’s statement, emphasizing that the majority of employees at “The Tonight Show” are content with their day-to-day and that the Rolling Stone article — which interviewed two current and 14 former employees — represents the perspectives of less than 1% of the late night program’s nearly 300 current staffers.
The insider maintained that Fallon and showrunner Chris Miller — the show’s ninth in as many years — remain unwaveringly committed to fostering a positive workplace environment.
This response, of course, falls in contrast to Rolling Stone’s report. The article, titled “Chaos, Comedy, and ‘Crying Rooms’: Inside Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show,’” noted that while many of the over 50 past and present unnamed employees that were contacted for this article “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 Tonight Show.’” The article also did not include any staffers speaking negatively about Fallon or the series on record.
The deep-dive report alleged that the long-running late night show is host to a toxic workplace and that Fallon himself is a leader who throws “hissy fists” and gives combative notes while suspected of being drunk during rehearsals. The accusations in the article range from three employees experiencing suicidal ideation as a result of their working conditions to others using guest dressing rooms as “crying rooms.”
It’s Fallon himself who stands at the center of these allegations. The article detailed that staff were dependent on the whims of their late night host. Fallon is accused of writing “passive aggressive” notes on employees’ work such as, “Are you OK? Seriously, do you need help?” One person described working with Fallon as, “Everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners.”
The article also addressed rumors of Fallon’s drinking, which have been floadting around since 2015. Several employees claim that Fallon’s moods were dependent on whether or not he was hungover from the night before. He is also accused of smelling like alcohol and seemingly being drunk on set during a rehearsal in 2017.