Jimmy Fallon Apologizes For Toxic Culture

Late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon apologized to employees of the Tonight Show during a Zoom meeting after a Rolling Stone article claimed a toxic workplace after speaking with current and former employees. Anonymous sources told the Rolling Stone that working for the show was a nightmare that led some people to contemplate suicide.

Fallon told his employees that he “feels bad” for embarrassing them and their families.

“I want this show to be fun, it should be inclusive for everybody, it should be funny, it should be the best show, the best people,” Fallon said. Employees responded, saying that Fallon’s apology seemed genuine.

Employees told the Rolling Stone that Fallon exhibited erratic behavior that included repeated changes of leadership. Fallon was also accused of bumbling through a rehearsal while appearing drunk.

According to the Rolling Stone, the paper talked with at least 80 current and former employees during the investigation into the claims. They report that not one of the individuals they spoke with was willing to go on the record, and not a single person said the experience of working for the show was pleasurable.

In March, the show hired Chris Miller to lead the show. According to current employees, Miller has established a better workplace environment since coming on board. One of the concerns some employees had with Fallon was the fear Miller might be fired as other leaders have. Fallon assured his employees that Miller is not going anywhere.

After learning of the Roling Stone piece, Miller reached out to his employees to get ahead of the story. He said in an email that he does not believe the story represents the current culture of the show.

“The place described in the article is not the place I know,” Miller wrote. “Still, it’s disappointing to see something published that does not capture the positive and inclusive environment I believe we have created together.”

NBC also addressed the complaints highlighted in the article. In a statement, an NBC spokesperson said that the network remains proud of the show and the product they produce. The statement said the network is committed to investigating complaints by employees and taking action where necessary.

Not everyone took Fallon’s apology as earnest. Comments on social media indicate that some people believe the apology from Fallon only came about because of the article, not because he is genuinely embarrassed by his behavior. Employees of the show have only said that Fallon has treated them well since the article came out.

The claims reported by the Rolling Stone came from a total of 14 former employees but included just two current employees.