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‘Tonight Show’ Employees Say Jimmy Fallon Created a Toxic Work Environment

Jimmy Fallon on 'The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon'Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images

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According to a new report from Rolling Stone, employees on The Tonight Show have accused host Jimmy Fallon of creating a toxic work environment. The outlet spoke to two current and 14 former employees of the show, who shared their experiences.

Jimmy Fallon’s Employees Describe Toxic Workplace

Seven former employees told Rolling Stone that their mental health was affected by their time working on The Tonight Show, with guests’ dressing rooms being described as “crying rooms” for those who were having a hard time.

“It’s a bummer because it was my dream job,” one source told the outlet. “Writing for late night is a lot of people’s dream jobs, and they’re coming into this and it becomes a nightmare very quickly. It’s sad that it’s like that, especially knowing that it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Employees pointed to Fallon’s erratic behavior, as well as rotating leadership who didn’t tell the host no, as elements that created the difficult behind-the-scenes environment. They described it as a “pretty glum atmosphere,” with employees being afraid of Fallon’s “outbursts.”

“You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit,” one former employee shared. “Look how many showrunners went so quickly. We know they didn’t last long.”

Two of Fallon’s employees said the host seemed inebriated at work in 2017. Two more said they thought they smelled alcohol on his breath on separate occasions in 2019 and 2020.


Fallon Reportedly Apologized to Employees

Although representatives for Fallon wouldn’t comment on the record for Rolling Stone‘s article, the outlet did report that the host apologized to employees during an all-hands Zoom call. Two employees who attended the call said Fallon told staff he didn’t intend to “create that type of atmosphere for the show.”

“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” Fallon reportedly said. “Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”

Employees said Fallon’s apology “felt pretty earnest,” as he acknowledged the show’s turnover in showrunners and called current showrunner Chris Miller “a great leader” who isn’t going anywhere.

Miller reportedly emailed employees about the article on Thursday, writing, “The place described in the article is not the place I know.” He encouraged employees to raise their concerns with either him, their managers, or HR.

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