In a surprising turn of events, Jimmy Fallon has reportedly offered a heartfelt apology to the staff of "The Tonight Show" for his alleged workplace behavior. During a video call on Thursday night, Fallon expressed remorse for his actions, which were detailed in a recent Rolling Stone article. The attendees of the all-hands meeting described Fallon's apology as sincere and genuine.
The Rolling Stone article featured accounts from 16 current and former employees who accused Fallon of being “erratic” and creating a toxic work environment. They claimed that Fallon would often come to work intoxicated and that his behavior was unpredictable. However, Fallon denied intentionally fostering such an atmosphere and expressed deep embarrassment and regret to the staff.
Representatives for NBC and Fallon have not responded to requests for comment. However, an insider with knowledge of the situation suggested that the article may have resulted from a staff leak. Another source close to the show praised the positive changes brought about by new showrunner Chris Miller, stating that he has infused the show with renewed enthusiasm and positive energy.
Fallon also acknowledged the high turnover rate of showrunners on "The Tonight Show" but emphasized his support for Miller, calling him a great leader who has created an inclusive and fun environment for everyone. He expressed his desire for the show to be a place where everyone feels welcome.
In response to the Rolling Stone article, Miller sent out an email to employees addressing the allegations. He reassured them that the article did not reflect the overall culture of the show and encouraged them to raise any concerns they might have. NBC also released a statement, affirming their commitment to providing a respectful working environment and addressing any reported issues.
This is not the first time Fallon's behavior has come under scrutiny. In 2015, there were reports of his drinking and partying getting out of hand. A bartender who served him even commented that he was a mess. In 2016, top-ranking NBC executives reportedly warned Fallon to cut back on alcohol consumption due to concerns about his behavior. However, these incidents were not directly addressed in the recent apology.
Rolling Stone claimed that their journalists reached out to over 80 past and present employees of "The Tonight Show," but none agreed to speak on the record or had positive things to say about working on the show. This contradicts the positive changes described by insiders and suggests a discrepancy between the perspectives of the employees and the show's management.
Despite the allegations, Fallon received support from fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who vehemently defended him. Seinfeld took issue with the Rolling Stone article's portrayal of an incident in which Fallon supposedly scolded a crew member in front of Seinfeld. He claimed that the incident was blown out of proportion and that he and Fallon often recall it and laugh about it.
It remains to be seen how these allegations will impact Fallon's career and the future of "The Tonight Show." The show has undergone significant changes since Miller took over, and it seems that the current staff is optimistic about the direction it is heading. However, the allegations of a toxic work environment cannot be ignored, and it will be up to NBC to investigate and address the concerns raised by employees.