Jimmy Fallon’s appeal as a talk-show host is based on his innate likability. He seems to get along with everyone, and always be in a sunny mood. That sort of life-of-the-party quality is invaluable on television, and it’s propelled Fallon from Saturday Night Live to movies to hosting NBC’s Late Night and then on to the crown jewel of the talk show world: The Tonight Show, which Fallon has hosted since 2014.
Of course, how someone presents themselves on TV isn’t necessarily how they carry themselves when the cameras are off. And a new report in Rolling Stone alleges that The Tonight Show under Fallon has been a “toxic workplace for years.” Their piece is long, and runs through multiple sorts of allegations, including claims of “erratic behavior” on Fallon’s part, so you’ll have to go there to read it all. But this sort of sums it up…
According to two current and 14 former employees, The Tonight Show has been a toxic workplace for years — far outside the boundaries of what’s considered normal in the high-pressure world of late-night TV. They say the ugly environment behind the scenes starts at the top with Fallon’s erratic behavior, and has trickled down to its ever-changing leadership teams — nine showrunners in the past nine years … Former employees describe The Tonight Show as a tense and “pretty glum atmosphere,” with some alleging they were belittled and intimidated by their bosses, including Fallon himself. Employees describe being afraid of Fallon’s “outbursts” and unexpected, inconsistent behavior.
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In response to the report, NBC released a statement that read “We are incredibly proud of The Tonight Show, and providing a respectful working environment is a top priority… 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 is currently on hiatus due to the ongoing writers and actors strikes in Hollywood. Fallon has yet to publicly respond to the allegations; his reps did not offer a comment to Rolling Stone for their report.
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