Jimmy Fallon apologizes to employees after article about work environment

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon apologized to his employees Thursday afternoon after a news article described the set of his show as a “toxic workplace.”

“It’s embarrassing, and I feel very bad,” Mr. Fallon, whose show has not aired new episodes in more than four months due to a writers’ strike, told staff during a virtual meeting.

Article, published By Rolling StoneIt said 14 former employees and two current employees alleged that Mr. Fallon’s “erratic behavior” helped create an unhealthy work environment.

“If I mistreated anyone, or made you feel bad, that was not my goal,” he said at the meeting, according to an employee who was present. “I want this show to be fun. It should be inclusive of everyone. It should be funny. It should be the best show and the best people. I just wanted to say I miss you guys.”

NBC issued a statement Thursday, saying, “We are extremely proud of The Tonight Show, and providing a respectful work environment is a top priority. As in any workplace, we have had employees who raise issues; they have been investigated, and action has been taken where appropriate.” “.

An NBCUniversal spokeswoman said on Friday that Mr. Fallon and the show were not under investigation because the allegations in the article were years old and had been addressed by the company.

While taping with comedian Jerry Seinfeld, Mr. Fallon berated an employee who was holding a cue card, Rolling Stone reported. The article went on to state that Mr. Seinfeld had forced Mr. Fallon to apologize to the employee, and that other employees described the moment as “uncomfortable.”

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Mr. Seinfeld sent a statement to Rolling Stone after the article was published in which he said: “This is so stupid. I remember this moment well. I teased Jimmy about a mistake, and we all had a good laugh about how rare it was to get rid of Jimmy. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all. Jimmy and I still remember that sometimes and laugh. Stupid turn of events.

In 2014, Mr. Fallon took over hosting duties for The Tonight Show, the popular NBC institution that has been around since the 1950s. His show immediately achieved great ratings, a trend that continued even after CBS hired Stephen Colbert as David Letterman’s replacement on the show. “The Late Show” in September 2015.

Fallon’s light-hearted approach to the show — with an emphasis on singing, dancing and playing games — seems to match the national mood.

But shortly after Mr. Fallon combed the hair of Donald J. Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, in a 2016 interview, his show’s ratings began to decline.

In early 2017, as Mr. Trump took over the White House, viewership for Mr. Colbert’s “The Late Show” surpassed that of “The Tonight Show,” where Mr. Colbert and several late-night hosts began delivering pointed political monologues, It is a training course that Mr. Fallon avoided. Although viewership for all late-night shows has declined in recent years, Mr. Colbert has continued to outperform Mr. Fallon.

During the ratings segment, Mr. Fallon went through a number of changes to the show.

Mr. Fallon, as well as other late-night hosts, including Mr. Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver, began a podcast together last week called “Strike Force Five.” The proceeds from the show are being given to their out-of-work employees as a writers’ strike has kept their shows dark for 129 days and counting.

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Chris Miller, who has been the “Tonight Show” emcee since 2022, sent an email to staff on Thursday shortly after the Rolling Stone article was published.

“While I know the reporter reached out to many of you before publishing the article, I do not believe what is written reflects the overall culture of our exceptional team that I am so fortunate and proud to work with every day.” books. “The place described in the article is not the place I know. However, it is disappointing to see something published that does not capture the positive and inclusive environment I believe we have created together.”

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