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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

This Week In Tiger Sports

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Jimmy Fallon Accused of Mistreating the “The Tonight Show” Staff

On the morning of September 7, 2023, a Rolling Stone article was published about popular television host, Jimmy Fallon, containing shocking accusations against him, claiming that the set of his show was a toxic environment and mentioning that the employees would joke about killing themselves. Fallon himself was also reported to be drunk on set multiple times, which supposedly created an unpredictable and chaotic workplace. However, some people believe these accusations more than others. Some are shocked and ready to leave Fallon behind already, while others aren’t completely buying the story.

“Jimmy Fallon 2019 01” by Danielle Marie Carolan is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

The set of The Tonight Show has been described by employees as a very uncomfortable environment. Higher-ups are described as over-demanding and toxic, constantly reminding employees that they can easily be replaced. Employees faced so much pressure that celebrity dressing rooms were even referred to as “the crying rooms” on set, as staff required frequent visits to let loose after experiencing mistreatment. Fallon himself was described as having “good Fallon days” and “bad Fallon days” as a result of his behavior being so unpredictable. According to the Rolling Stone article, employees even recall a time when Fallon appeared to be drunk while the show was live, as he forgot things he was saying as he was saying them, and overall seemed out of it. The anonymous employees say they thought that moment could be the end of the show if it had gotten out of control. Working on The Tonight Show seems to be an experience with power trips, stressful management, and dealing with Fallon as a chaotic person, according to the anonymous interviewees quoted in Rolling Stone

Fallon himself seems to have already tried to douse the fires and make it up to the employees by apologizing to them via Zoom call. “It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad. Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends…I feel so bad, I can’t even tell you.” He then goes on to claim that he wants the show to be a positive experience for employees. Fallon’s apology seems to be very general as if he wasn’t aware of any of the specific things that are claimed to have happened to employees, and he comes across as apologetic and embarrassed. This could be a genuine apology or just his attempt at damage control by not trying to fight any accusations and owning up to whatever they think he has done; or at least, this may be how he sees it. 

When it comes to the general public’s opinion on the situation, many people are claiming to not be surprised, or claiming they never really liked Fallon. “His fake laugh was enough for me.,” commented X user ALanaLoko. “It’s crazy I’ve disliked this dude from the moment he stepped on that show.. my intuition never lies.. nothing likable about him,” another comment from EritreaLuv read. Other commenters claim to “not believe a word of it” (despite Fallon already apologizing for some of his behavior). Some claim that he didn’t really do anything “criminal,” so it’s not serious; or, if the work environment was really that hostile, why couldn’t the employees just leave? Better yet, perhaps the employees who accused him could have also already hated him. However, the Rolling Stone article claims that there were plenty of anonymous employees sending in these accusations, not just one or two people. 

Generally, the public opinion seems to be that most are willing to believe the accusations and that plenty of set/work settings in the industry are basically just like this.

Overall, while some of the situations described in the Rolling Stone article might or might not be 100% accurate, the piece still shows that even someone who seems like such a happy host, like Fallon, may just be not only more annoying than imagined, but also more toxic.

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About the Contributor
Val Reyes, Guest Writer
Val Reyes ('26) is excited to write stories in The Echo about pop culture, current events, and student life. In her free time, she likes music, painting, and baking pastries.