On Thursday, the magazine published a report in which anonymous employees at “The Tonight Show” alleged that host Jimmy Fallon’s erratic behavior fostered a toxic work culture. The former and current staffers who spoke to the magazine alleged that the tense workplace caused many employees to seek therapy, prompted one to take medication for the first time and resulted in three having suicidal thoughts.
Two staffers told Rolling Stone that there was one uncomfortable moment in which Fallon berated a crew member who was holding cue cards during a taping of an interview with Seinfeld.
According to the staffers, Seinfeld told Fallon after his outburst that he should apologize to the crew member, which apparently Fallon did. The staffers also said the incident was edited out of the version of the interview that viewers saw at home.
“It was very awkward, and Jerry [Seinfeld] was like, ‘You should apologize to him,’ almost trying to make it a joke,” a former employee said. “It was one of the strangest moments ever and so many people were there, so it’s kind of hard to forget.”
Seinfeld sent a statement to Rolling Stone after the story was published, saying the employees’ allegations were inaccurate.
“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,” Seinfeld said. “It was not uncomfortable at all. Jimmy and I still occasionally recall it and laugh. Idiotic twisting of events.”
Despite Seinfeld’s denial of this claim, the Rolling Stone piece is jam-packed with other allegations against Fallon that paint the late night host as moody, dismissive and cruel.
In the report, staffers say they used guest’s dressing rooms as “crying rooms” for employees brought to tears by Fallon’s rude remarks, and pointed out that there have been nine showrunners on “The Tonight Show” since 2014.
“Nobody told Jimmy, ‘No.’ Everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners,” a former employee told the magazine. “You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit. Look how many showrunners went so quickly. We know they didn’t last long.”
Fallon’s reps declined to comment to Rolling Stone and to HuffPost.
Fallon is currently co-hosting the “Strike Force Five” podcast along with fellow late night talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and John Oliver. The aim of the podcast, according to its hosts, is to raise money for their writing staffs who are currently out of work due to the WGA strike.