NBCUniversal says workplace complaints around “The Kelly Clarkson Show” were taken seriously and addressed, after a Rolling Stone report on Friday alleged the production has been mired in a toxic environment.
Following complaints from anonymous employees on the show, the network has issued a statement responding to the accusations lobbed in the Rolling Stone report.
“We are committed to a safe and respectful work environment and take workplace complaints very seriously and to insinuate otherwise is untrue,” the statement reads. “When issues are reported they are promptly reviewed, investigated and acted upon as appropriate. ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ strives to build a safe, respectful and equitable workplace that nurtures a culture of inclusivity and creativity.”
Rolling Stone reported that former employees and one current one described the show as “traumatizing to their mental health.”
Sources cited in Rolling Stone’s report say that Clarkson doesn’t know that employees are unhappy with the working conditions.
“NBC is protecting the show because it’s their new money maker, but Kelly has no clue how unhappy her staff is,” one former employee told Rolling Stone.
The sources, who are reportedly veterans of entertainment and daytime television, recognized the high-pressure environment of such productions but traced the toxic, behind-the-scenes environment to executive producer Alex Duda, who is said to have shielded Clarkson from the byproducts of the behavior.
“I think Alex Duda’s a monster,” a former employee said. “I have a friend who’s an executive producer who warned me about taking this job, because apparently she has done this on every show she’s worked on.”
Some lower-level staffers shared that they have other jobs in addition to working on the show to supplement their income, like Uber Eats, walking dogs and babysitting. A divide between employees favored by executive and senior producers and those who aren’t was also described.
Former employees expressed frustration and disappointment that the culture has not shifted since numerous HR complaints.
“I would be shocked if [Kelly] knew. I’d be floored if she knew the staff wasn’t getting paid for two weeks of Christmas hiatus,” a former employee said. “The Kelly that I interacted with and that everyone knows would probably be pretty aghast to learn that.”