Jimmy Fallon issued an apology to the staff of the “Tonight Show” on Thursday afternoon in response to a Rolling Stone report that shed light on his conduct at the long-running NBC late-night program throughout the years.
During a Zoom meeting with the “Tonight” team, Fallon expressed his remorse, saying, “It’s embarrassing, and I feel so bad. Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends.” He went on to emphasize his desire for the show to be enjoyable, inclusive, and humorous, adding, “It should be the best show, the best people.”
In total, Rolling Stone spoke with 14 former employees and two current staffers, some of whom alleged they had witnessed instances of Fallon becoming irate with individuals and berating colleagues, with one such incident reportedly occurring in the presence of Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld, however, subsequently clarified the situation, stating,
“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. It was not uncomfortable at all. Jimmy and I still occasionally recall it and laugh. Idiotic twisting of events.”
Reportedly, this situation had left staff members feeling anxious about their job security, with the looming threat of sudden replacement or termination.
Some employees sought therapy and experienced physical consequences due to their experiences.
While representatives for Fallon declined to provide an on-record comment to Rolling Stone regarding the alleged behavior, an NBC spokesperson informed the magazine:
“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.”
Currently, “The Tonight Show” is on hiatus due to ongoing strikes among writers and actors in Hollywood.
In response, Fallon and his fellow late-night hosts, including Colbert, Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, and John Oliver, have initiated a group podcast to raise funds to support their staff during the duration of the strikes.