Jimmy Fallon, the beloved host of “The Tonight Show,” is currently facing accusations of fostering a hostile and challenging work environment for his staff members. These allegations, reported by Rolling Stone, involve claims from 16 individuals, comprising both former and current staff members.
They suggest that Fallon’s leadership has tarnished the dream of working on this late-night television show, with 14 former and two current employees, all choosing to remain anonymous, describing “The Tonight Show” as a workplace that has been entrenched in toxicity for an extended period, far beyond what is typically expected in the demanding world of late-night TV.
The sources reveal that behind the scenes, the atmosphere has been described as “pretty glum,” and many staff members have reported feeling “belittled and intimidated by their bosses, including Fallon himself.” Several employees attempted to address their concerns through HR channels but claimed that their efforts resulted in no noticeable improvements.
One staff member lamented, “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,” a staffer told the publication. “It’s sad that it’s like that, especially knowing that it doesn’t have to be that way.”
An ex-colleague further shed light on the work dynamics, revealing that the show’s personnel often hesitated to voice their concerns or say “no” to the host. They explained, “Nobody told Jimmy, ‘No.’ Everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners,” they said. “You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit. Look how many showrunners went so quickly. We know they didn’t last long.”
The most concerning aspect of these allegations is the impact on the mental health of some former staff members. Seven former employees disclosed that their mental well-being suffered due to their experiences on the show. Shockingly, three of them admitted to entertaining suicidal thoughts while working on the series.
One individual shared, “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. 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?'”