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‘Tonight Show’ staffers defend Jimmy Fallon after ‘toxic’ work environment claims: report – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

‘Tonight Show’ staffers defend Jimmy Fallon after ‘toxic’ work environment claims: report

According to a recent report, multiple individuals currently employed at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” have come forward to defend the show’s host amid allegations against him. Four television producers spoke to the Daily Mail on Friday and praised Fallon as a supportive and collaborative leader who makes them feel like family. One person, who has been working at the late-night talk show for two years, stated that they felt energized and excited about creating a positive workplace environment from the day they joined. They also mentioned working closely with Fallon on a daily basis and having to deliver bad news or disagree with him but still held him in high regard. The producer described Fallon as someone who sticks to his principles but also respects others who may have different opinions, adding that he is empathetic, open to hearing other viewpoints, and willing to be flexible. Another producer commented that Fallon goes out of his way to foster a family-like atmosphere among the staff by organizing social events such as trivia nights, speed bowling, and talent shows. They also mentioned receiving high-fives from Fallon in the hallways and handwritten notes for special occasions and achievements. A third producer, who has been with “The Tonight Show” for 14 years, affirmed that the show creates a sense of community among the staff. These testimonials present a more positive perspective than the negative work environment portrayed in the Rolling Stone article. Sources in that article claimed that the atmosphere on the show was toxic, with some employees experiencing suicidal thoughts and seeking therapy. However, a fourth producer contradicted these claims and said they had a positive experience with Fallon, as well as with current and former leadership, staff, and crew members. Jerry Seinfeld, who was mentioned in the initial report, also came forward to defend Fallon, stating that a supposed uncomfortable moment on the show had been mischaracterized. Fallon has not yet released a public statement addressing the allegations.

Multiple people who currently work at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” have come forward to defend the show’s host after his character was called into question, according to a new report.

Four TV producers spoke to the Daily Mail Friday, praising Jimmy Fallon as a “supportive” and “collaborative” leader who makes many of them feel like “family.”

“From the day I walked in, I felt as if everybody was very energized and excited about creating a very positive workplace, especially Jimmy, and I work closely with him,’ one person, who has reportedly worked at the late-night talk show for two years, told the outlet.

The staffer noted that he is with the comedian, 48, on a “daily basis” and has had to “deliver bad news” or “disagree” with him, but still thinks very highly of him.

“I have seen him stick to his guns but [give] respect to other people who disagree with him,” the producer said of Fallon, whom he claimed is also open to “changing his mind” if someone else offers a difference of opinion.

“I cannot say enough good things about him, about how he is an empathetic person, how he hears other people’s opinions [and] how he’s open to being flexible,” the unnamed person added.


Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show."
Four producers have reportedly come forward to defend Jimmy Fallon amid claims he contributes to a “toxic” work environment.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Rolling Stone published a bombshell report Thursday, citing two current “Tonight Show” staffers and 14 former employees, who claimed that Fallon contributed to a “glum atmosphere” at the show by allegedly belittling and bullying people who worked for him.

They also reiterated longstanding claims that the “Fever Pitch” star has drinking problems and has been seen boozing it up while at work.

However, the first producer also told the Daily Mail that the “Saturday Night Live” alum has “never belittled” or “snapped” at anyone, also noting that the comic “walks the halls and talks to everybody.”

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Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show."
One person claimed Fallon has always been “supportive” and “collaborative.”
Theo Wargo

A second producer told the outlet that Fallon makes an effort to create a “family” environment among staff and crew by arranging social events like trivia nights, speed bowling and staff talent shows.


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“I’ve received his high-fives in the hallways and his handwritten notes for birthdays, life milestones and a job well done,” the person, who also chose to remain anonymous, claimed.

A third producer, who has worked at “The Tonight Show” for 14 years, reaffirmed that the talk show creates a sense of “community” among staff.


Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show."
Sources told the Daily Mail that Fallon tried to create a fun, “family” environment for “Tonight Show” staffers.
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

“I’ve felt nothing but support from the people around me — from Jimmy to other producers to all of my colleagues at the show,” the unnamed person said, adding that they were given “incredible opportunities” that allowed them to grow in their career.

The new perspectives are a much more uplifting view than the dire work environment portrayed in the Rolling Stone piece.

Sources told that publication that the toxicity had allegedly gotten so bad on the “Tonight Show” that several staffers were having suicidal ideations, seeking therapy and going into dressing rooms to cry.


Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show."
A bombshell Rolling Stones report claimed Fallon bullied staffers.
Lloyd Bishop/NBC

“Mentally, I was in the lowest place of my life. I didn’t want to live anymore. I thought about taking my own life all the time,” one former employee was quoted as saying.

“I knew deep down I would never actually do it, but in my head, I’m like, ‘Why do I think about this all the time?’”

A fourth producer countered those claims to the Daily Mail, saying they “had a very positive experience not only with Jimmy, but also current and former leadership, as well as the staff and crew as a whole.” 


Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show."
Fallon has yet to release a public statement about the allegations.
Rosalind O’Connor/NBC via Getty Images

Jerry Seinfeld, who was mentioned in the original report, also spoke up to defend Fallon, explaining that he felt an anecdote about him on the “Tonight Show” had been mischaracterized.

“This is so stupid. I remember this moment quite well … I teased Jimmy about a flub, and we all had a fun laugh about how rarely Jimmy is thrown off,” the “Seinfeld” star, 67, told Rolling Stone in response to a claim that he had witnessed an “uncomfortable” moment in which Fallon allegedly “scolded” a staffer.

“It was not uncomfortable at all,” Seinfeld added. “Jimmy and I still occasionally recall it and laugh. Idiotic twisting of events.”


Jerry Seinfeld on Jimmy Fallon.
Jerry Seinfeld blasted “idiotic” claims that he witness Jimmy Fallon belittle a former employee.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Despite the differences in opinions, Fallon reportedly decided to take ownership for any misconduct he may have contributed to in his workplace.

“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” he told staffers via Zoom Thursday, according to Rolling Stone.

“Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”


Jimmy Fallon walking in JFK Airport in New York City.
Fallon, seen here the day the damning allegations were published, reportedly apologized behind closed doors.
TheImageDirect.com

NBC, the network behind the talk show, said in their own statement Thursday, “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.”

NBC concluded, “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.”

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