A new Rolling Stone exposé reveals allegations about the toxic work environment behind the scenes at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Multiple former employees describe Fallon's erratic and abusive behavior, as well as his temper tantrums behind the scenes. He would berate and belittle staffers over minor mistakes. Amazingly, the show has seen nine different showrunners in nine years due to the dysfunctional environment. Staffers lived in constant fear of being fired.
Seven former employees say the toxic culture led to severe mental health issues, including suicidal ideation. Crying in celebrity dressing rooms was commonplace. Some staffers allege that Fallon appeared intoxicated at work at times and was difficult to work with when hungover. His mood swings impacted the entire office.
HR complaints were disregarded. Several employees faced retaliation after reporting issues.
Select quotes from former employees who spoke to Rolling Stone on the condition of anonymity:
"It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone's day is ruined. People wouldn't joke around in the office, and they wouldn't stand around and talk to each other. It was very much like, focus on whatever it is that you have to do because Jimmy's in a bad mood, and if he sees that, he might explode."
"Sometimes we would get nice Jimmy, but those times were not frequent. It was just really, really sad to me that this extremely talented man created such a horrible environment for the people there."
"'We're up against it' was a commonly used phrase around the office among employees, they say, to warn each other if Fallon was 'not having a good day' and therefore, everyone else was in for a rough one as well."