Comedian Jimmy Fallon has officially responded to allegations from former employees that he fostered a toxic workplace that severely affected the mental health of his staff.
According to Rolling Stone, Fallon held a Zoom call with the staff of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and called the original allegations “embarrassing” and that he didn’t intentionally try to “create that type of atmosphere for the show.”
“I feel so bad I can’t even tell you,” Fallon reportedly said. “I want the show to be fun, [it] should be inclusive to everybody. It should be the best show.”
Host Jimmy Fallon during season 10 of “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” (Getty Images)
Employees told Rolling Stone that Fallon’s Zoom call “felt pretty earnest” and that his apology seemed genuine.
“Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends,” he allegedly said. “I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”
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The original allegations came in a long-form exclusive by Rolling Stone in which former employees accused the late-night host of smelling like alcohol on the job and said they often felt as though they were “walking on eggshells” around him.
“It’s a bummer because it was my dream job,” one former employee 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.”
Though Fallon did not comment directly on the allegations at the time, NBC did release a statement to the outlet.
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“We are incredibly proud of The Tonight Show, and providing a respectful working environment is a top priority,” NBC said. “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 behavior inconsistent with our policies to report their concerns so that we may address them accordingly.”
“The Tonight Show” has not aired since May due to the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America strike.