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Tonight Show Employees Allege Toxic Work Environment

Rolling Stone published a report on the working environment on The Tonight Show. They interviewed two current and 14 former employees who described erratic behavior by the host, Jimmy Fallon. There have been nine showrunners during the nine-year run under Fallon, none of whom allegedly could say “no” to Fallon. These employees said the atmosphere is "pretty glum" and tense. Some allege Fallon and other supervisors belittled and intimidated them, with Fallon having “outbursts” and inconsistent behavior. Rolling Stone saw photos of alleged notes from Fallon saying, “Ugh, lame. What is going on with you? You’ve outdone yourself.” Fear among employees was widespread because of the unpredictable behavior. The staffers called the guests' dressing rooms "crying rooms," used when they were upset with treatment from Fallon. All of the interviewed staffers requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. Employees describe declining mental health as a result of the atmosphere, with some entering therapy and taking anti-anxiety medication for the first time.

Rolling Stone contacted 80 current and past employees about the allegations. Interestingly, no one commented positively about working on The Tonight Show. None of the nine showrunners agreed to state their support or comment on the record about Fallon. An anonymous staffer told People that Fallon is very communicative and "really positive." This staffer described Fallon's feedback as helpful and never experienced negative treatment. That staffer believes these allegations are old grievances and claims that many current employees are happy with their recent experience.

Following the report's publication, Fallon apologized to staffers in a Zoom staff meeting. He said, "It's so embarrassing and I feel so bad." NBC, the network that broadcasts the show, said providing a respectful working environment was a top priority and encouraged employees to come forward when they have complaints and concerns.