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Jimmy Fallon apologizes to his staff via Zoom after the ‘Tonight Show’ exposé

The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon issued an apology to his staff after the show was exposed for having a toxic work environment.

Although the host is known for his warm and congenial presence onscreen, it turns out he can be irritable to work with as a former employee told Rolling Stone.

Another former employee said “he couldn’t remember he had just crossed it out himself. I was like, ‘Oh my God, he seems drunk. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. This could be awful – this could be the end of the show right here.’”

The other employees who spoke with Rolling Stone say that it is common knowledge behind the scenes that there are “good Jimmy days” – where the host’s wit and charm and creativity are on full display – and “bad Jimmy days.” This was a “bad Jimmy day,” according to the employee.

Fallon and staff

The Tonight Show has been a toxic workplace for years according to two current and 14 former employees as it’s far outside the boundaries of what’s considered normal in the high-pressure world of late-night TV. They stated that the ugly behavior comes from the host behind the scenes and the ever-changing leadership teams. There are nine showrunners in the past nine years who can’t seem to say no to Jimmy. Many of the staff have already aired their concerns through HR complaints but the problems were never solved.

According to Rolling Stone, on Thursday evening, Jimmy Fallon and Tonight Show showrunner Chris Miller conducted a Zoom meeting with the staff. Two employees who attended said that the host apologized and stated that he did not intend to “create that type of atmosphere for the show.”

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

The message from the talk show host “feels pretty earnest” according to the employees. Fallon also acknowledged the amount of turnover The Tonight Show has had in regard to its showrunners. They stated that Fallon emphasized that current showrunner Chris Miller is “a great leader” and isn’t going anywhere.

“I want the show to be fun, it should be inclusive to everybody,” said Fallon, according to the employees. “It should be the best show.”

 

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