‘Good Jimmy, Bad Jimmy’: The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon faces accusations of toxic work culture
Allegations of a challenging work environment surround Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. Employees report tension, erratic behavior, and mental health concerns.
The charismatic host of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is facing allegations of creating a challenging work environment behind the scenes. Current and former employees have voiced concerns about the culture within the show.
While Jimmy Fallon is known for his warm and humorous on-screen presence, insiders suggest there is a noticeable difference off-camera. Employees describe "good Jimmy days" and "bad Jimmy days." During one tense day in 2017, Fallon's behavior raised eyebrows among the crew. He appeared confused during rehearsal, even crossing out jokes on a cue card, then seemingly forgetting he had done so.
"It was like, ‘Oh, my God, he [seems] drunk. He doesn't know what he's doing. This could be problematic,” one employee recounted.
Allegations of a challenging work atmosphere go beyond Fallon's behavior. Multiple showrunners in recent years have struggled to provide stability or manage his unpredictable actions. The result, employees say, is a tense atmosphere where some reported being belittled and intimidated.
Seven former employees claim their mental health suffered during their time on the show, with references to thoughts of self-harm and humor about "wanting to kill themselves" being concerning aspects of the workplace culture.
For many former staffers, the dream job of working in late-night television became a challenging experience. Despite numerous HR complaints, issues continued, leading to a troubling atmosphere of fear and anxiety among the crew.
Rolling Stone's investigation, which contacted over 80 current and former employees, also revealed concerns about Fallon's behavior in relation to alcohol. While he publicly denied a drinking problem, employees claim to have witnessed signs of inebriation during work hours.
Despite Fallon's undeniable talent and comedic gifts, no one from the show's nine showrunners since 2014 provided public support or comments about his behavior, reflecting a concerning trend.
Representatives for Fallon and NBC did not respond on the record, but an NBC spokesperson defended the show and emphasized their commitment to a respectful working environment.
Despite the controversy, Jimmy Fallon's rise to stardom is undeniable. He took over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2014, debuting to an audience of 11.3 million viewers. Over the years, the show has enjoyed numerous successes and viral moments, endearing Fallon to fans worldwide.
However, behind the scenes, the revolving door of showrunners and allegations of a challenging work environment cast a shadow over the show's success. Employees hope for lasting change and for Fallon and NBC to take their concerns seriously, as they fear the future of The Tonight Show may remain uncertain if improvements are not made.