TV host Jimmy Fallon, best known for his talk show ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’, has offered a mea culpa to his staff after reports of toxic workplace behaviour on his show.
“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad. Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends,” Fallon said during a Zoom meeting with the ‘Tonight’ employees.
“I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.” He told the group, during the meeting, which was said to be brief: “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,” according to Variety.
Several former staff members of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ spoke to Rolling Stone about what they described as a toxic work environment behind the scenes, of the late night programme.
Some of these staffers said their mental health worsened during their time on the show, where they alleged Jimmy could lash out under pressure.
One former employee of the show said: “It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f*****. People wouldn’t joke around in the office, and they wouldn’t stand around and talk to each other. It was very much like, focus on whatever it is that you have to do because Jimmy’s in a bad mood, and if he sees that, he might fly off.”
One staffer also alleged Jimmy appeared drunk at work during a rehearsal and couldn’t recall crossing out a joke in his notes. “He couldn’t remember he had just crossed it out himself,” the employee said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, he is drunk. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. This could be awful – this could be the end of the show right here’.”
According to the Rolling Stone report, some staffers said their mental health was negatively affected during their time on the late-night show, where they alleged the host would act “erratic” and “snap at crew members, express irritation over the smallest of things, and berate and belittle staffers out of frustration.”