Multiple people who currently work at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” have come forward to defend the show’s host after his character was called into question, according to a new report.
Four TV producers spoke to Daily Mail Friday, praising Jimmy Fallon as a “supportive” and “collaborative” leader who makes many of them feel like “family.”
“From the day I walked in, I felt as if everybody was very energized and excited about creating a very positive workplace, especially Jimmy, and I work closely with him,’ one person, who has reportedly worked at the late-night talk show for two years, told the outlet.
The staffer noted that he is with the comedian, 48, on a “daily basis” and has had to “deliver bad news” or “disagree” with him, but still thinks very highly of him.
“I have seen him stick to his guns but respect to other people who disagree with him,” the producer said of Fallon, whom he claimed is also open to “changing his mind” if someone else offers a difference of opinion.
“I cannot say enough good things about him, about how he is an empathetic person, how he hears other people’s opinions [and] how he’s open to being flexible,” the unnamed person added.
Rolling Stone published a bombshell report Thursday, citing two current “Tonight Show” staffers and 14 former employees, who claimed that Fallon contributed to a “glum atmosphere” at the show by allegedly belittling and bullying people who worked for him.
They also reiterated longstanding claims that the “Fever Pitch” star has drinking problems and has been seen boozing while at work.
However, the first producer also told Daily Mail that the “Saturday Night Live” alum has “never belittled” or “snapped” at anyone, noting that the comic “walks the halls and talks to everybody.”
A second producer told the outlet that Fallon makes an effort to create a “family” environment among staff and crew by arranging social events like trivia nights, speed bowling and staff talent shows.
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“I’ve received his high-fives in the hallways and his handwritten notes for birthdays, life milestones and a job well done,” the person, who also chose to remain anonymous, also claimed.
A third producer, who has worked at “The Tonight Show” for 14 years, reaffirmed that the talk show harbors a sense of “community” among staff.
“I’ve felt nothing but support from the people around me — from Jimmy to other producers to all of my colleagues at the show,” the unnamed person said, adding that they were given “incredible opportunities” that allowed them to grow in their career.
The new perspectives are a much more uplifting view than the dire work environment portrayed in the Rolling Stones piece.
Sources told that publication that the toxicity had allegedly gotten so bad on the “Tonight Show” that several staffers were having suicidal ideations, seeking therapy and going into dressing rooms to cry.
“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,” one former employee was quoted as saying.
“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?’”
A fourth producer countered those claims to Daily Mail, saying they have “had a very positive experience not only with Jimmy, but also current and former leadership, as well as the staff and crew as a whole.”
Jerry Seinfeld, who was mentioned in the original report, also spoke up to defend Fallon, explaining that he felt an anecdote about him on the “Tonight Show” had been mischaracterized.
“This is so stupid. I remember this moment quite well … I teased Jimmy about a flub, and we all had a fun laugh about how rarely Jimmy is thrown off,” the “Seinfeld” star, 67, told Rolling Stone in response to a claim that he had witnessed an “uncomfortable” moment in which Fallon allegedly “scolded” a staffer.
“It was not uncomfortable at all,” Seinfeld added. “Jimmy and I still occasionally recall it and laugh. Idiotic twisting of events.”
Despite the differences in opinions, Fallon reportedly decided to take ownership for any misconduct he may have contributed to in his workplace.
“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” he told staffers via Zoom Thursday, according to Rolling Stone.
“Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.”
NBC, the network behind the talk show, said in their own statement Thursday, “We are incredibly proud of The Tonight Show, and providing a respectful working environment is a top priority.
“As in any workplace, we have had employees raise issues; those have been investigated and action has been taken where appropriate.”
NBC concluded, “As is always the case, we encourage employees who feel they have experienced or observed behavior inconsistent with our policies to report their concerns so that we may address them accordingly.”
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