The Allegations Against Jimmy Fallon Shouldn't Be Surprising — This Is How The Industry Operates

The cutthroat and toxic world of Hollywood has left many people subjected to mistreatment and abuse.

Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, James Corden DFree / Kathy Hutchins / s_bukley / Shutterstock; Xurzon from Getty Images via Canva Pro; Vectortwins via Canva Pro; Wingzky via Canva Pro

Jimmy Fallon, comedian and host of the popular late-night show "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," has recently come under fire after receiving less than stellar allegations from several former employees.

Fallon has since apologized to his current staff, but unfortunately, this behavior is a consistent force within both the entertainment industry and from other talk show hosts.

Fallon was accused of fostering a 'toxic' work environment and 'bullying' many of his staff members.

The accusations against Fallon first surfaced during the morning of September 7, 2023 after two current and 14 former employees, including production staff and writers, spoke to Rolling Stone about the toxic work environment that Fallon cultivated behind the scenes of his late-night show.


The employees, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation, alleged that Fallon had a history of "outbursts" and would lash out at staff members when under pressure; many other senior staff members admitted they were often bullied and belittled by Fallon, and that the celebrity guest's dressing rooms were often places where crew members would go to cry.

“You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit," a former employee told Rolling Stone. "Look how many showrunners went so quickly. We know they didn’t last long.”


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“It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is [expletive],” another former employee said. “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 fly off.”

One staffer even alleged that Fallon would often show up to work during rehearsals visibly drunk, and would often forget crossing out jokes in his notes. "He couldn’t remember he had just crossed it out himself,” the employee claimed. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, he [seems] drunk. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. This could be awful — this could be the end of the show right here.’”

Celebrity gossip site DeuxMoi even published an anonymous tip from a former staff member at "The Tonight Show," who recalled seeing many "awesome" staffers being "manipulated" and "abused" while working behind the scenes.


jimmy fallon allegations deux moi anonymous tipPhoto: deuxmoi / Instagram

"When someone quit (or got fired for no reason), they'd give that person's job responsibilities to someone else on staff, so everyone there worked the equivalent of 3+ jobs on [minimum] wage," the anonymous tip read. "Jimmy also moved half his staff to a different floor [because] he didn't like walking by people he 'didn't know.' The people he liked got to stay on the same floor [as Jimmy Fallon]."

The allegations against Jimmy Fallon highlight a disturbing trend of similar behavior in the entertainment industry.

The entertainment industry as a whole is a vast and diverse space, and while many people within it don't exhibit these toxic behaviors and attitudes, there is also a slew of other instances in which people have been subjected to the ruthless and cutthroat world of Hollywood.


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Fallon's behavior joins a long list of other celebrities, and more especially, other late-night and talk-show hosts, who have been exposed for being routinely mean and abusive toward their staffers. Ellen DeGeneres, whose show "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" has since ended, was called out many times by current and former staff members for being an awful person to work with and cultivating a toxic work environment.



Not only was the comedian accused by staffers, but even celebrities who've appeared on her show have been subjected to her cruel behavior, and unfortunately, DeGeneres isn't the only one.


James Corden has also faced a slew of accusations of being "the most difficult and obnoxious" person to work with and was even temporarily banned from a restaurant in New York City for being an "abusive customer" to the restaurant's waitstaff. 

Even Kelly Clarkson, host of "The Kelly Clarkson Show," faced similar allegations to her other talk-show hosts peers back in May 2023, when 11 employees — one current and 10 former — alleged that they were overworked, underpaid, and subjected to bullying and verbal abuse while working alongside Clarkson. 

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It's an awful reality that many people who choose to work under many of these successful names, hoping to catch their big break and learn valuable skills to propel their careers forward, are instead treated like less than human beings just because the world of Hollywood only works when you become a monster and climb over everyone else to get to the top.

In any other industry, this type of behavior would never be accepted.

But, for some reason, the entertainment industry chooses to treat those who aren't already rich, successful, and powerful, as if they mean nothing.

It's why so many actors and writers are participating in the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes because they're sick and tired of their livelihoods being used merely as stepping stones so these big-name celebrities and production companies can drain them of all their energy just to make money. 


It's an industry where only the fittest are meant to survive, and by "fittest" it's just the people who have millions of dollars behind their names and are already at the top of the pyramid, abusing and manipulating those who fall beneath them as they make their way up.

The stories of exploitation and mistreatment that have come to light in recent years highlight the need for change and reform within the entertainment industry. It is not acceptable for anyone to endure bullying, harassment, or an abusive work environment, regardless of their industry or position.

Hollywood should be a safe space where creatives can flourish and achieve their dreams without fear of being exploited and distressed, and people like Fallon, DeGeneres, Corden, and Clarkson need to do better to create a more compassionate and inclusive environment for everyone.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.