Jimmy Fallon Under Fire for Alleged Toxic Work Environment on ‘The Tonight Show’

Late-Night Scandal Shakes Hollywood

Late-night host Jimmy Fallon is drawing attention for all the wrong reasons. A Rolling Stone exposé claims that behind the scenes of “The Tonight Show,” a toxic work environment prevails. With staffers speaking out, the man once synonymous with late-night laughs finds himself facing serious allegations.

Update: Fallon’s Apology

Following the Rolling Stone report, Jimmy Fallon reportedly addressed “The Tonight Show” staff in a brief Zoom call, according to Variety.

“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad. Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends,” he reportedly said. “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.”

The Dark Side of the Dream Job

The Rolling Stone story draws from interviews with 16 people—two current and 14 former employees of the popular NBC talk show. Many interviewees opted to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation.

“It’s a bummer because it was my dream job,” one employee revealed. “Writing for late night is a lot of people’s dream jobs, and they’re coming into this and it becomes a nightmare very quickly.”

Fallon’s Jekyll and Hyde Behavior

Employees distinguish between “good Jimmy days” and “bad Jimmy days,” each with starkly different atmospheres on set.

“It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f***ed,” one former employee said. “People wouldn’t joke around in the office, and they wouldn’t stand around and talk to each other.”

Incidents that Stand Out

One specific incident involved Fallon chastising a crew member in charge of cue cards during a taping with actor-comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

“It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f***ed,” a former employee said.

In contrast, Jerry Seinfeld offered a different perspective:

“This is so stupid. I remember this moment quite well… It was not uncomfortable at all. Jimmy and I still occasionally recall it and laugh.”

Questions Surrounding Fallon’s Sobriety

Further adding to the fire, allegations also emerged about Fallon’s possible alcohol issues. Employees claimed to have smelled alcohol on Fallon’s breath on multiple occasions.

Workplace Code and Emotional Toll

Amidst this disarray, a coded phrase has emerged among employees: “We’re up against it.” The phrase serves as a warning signal about Fallon’s mood, but despite bringing their concerns to HR, little has changed.

“When something was wrong, we all knew how to behave afterward, which was just sort of avoid eye contact and don’t make another mistake,” said one past employee.

NBC’s Response

NBC issued a general statement without addressing the host specifically:

“We are incredibly proud of The Tonight Show, and providing a respectful working environment is a top priority,” an NBC spokesperson noted.

A Track Record of Controversy

This isn’t Fallon’s first public relations issue. He faced backlash in 2020 over a resurfaced clip featuring him in blackface. Despite an apology on social media, employees claim Fallon did not address the issue internally.

Conclusion: A Moment of Reckoning for Fallon and NBC?

As “The Tonight Show” remains off-air due to a writers’ strike, the spotlight is on Fallon and NBC to rectify the alleged issues. Only time will reveal if this is a turning point for the show and its host.

Editor’s note: If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in the U.S. is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

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