Staffers speak out against the show’s “toxic” environment
Kelly Clarkson is speaking out about allegations that her talk show has a toxic work environment. Rolling Stone reports that 11 current and former staffers accuse a number of producers of creating “a toxic work environment,” but that Clarkson herself was “fantastic.” One person claims the star “has no clue how unhappy her staff is” as “she is a person who never treats anyone with anything but dignity and is incredibly appreciative.” Another says “I would be completely shocked if she knew. I’d be floored if she knew the staff wasn’t getting paid for two weeks of Christmas hiatus. The Kelly that I interacted with and that everyone knows would probably be aghast to learn that.”
Following the report, Clarkson shared a social media message, addressing the news.
“In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believed to be right. I love my team at The Kelly Clarkson Show, and to find out that anyone is feeling unheard and or disrespected on this show is unacceptable,” she writes. “I have always been, and will continue to be, committed to creating a safe and healthy environment at The Kelly Clarkson Show. As we prepare for a move to the east coast, I am more committed than ever to not only ensure that our team that is moving, but also our new team in NY, is comprised of the best and kindest in the business.”
She continues, “Part of that build will include leadership training for all of the senior staff, including myself. There is always room to grow and ensure we are all being/becoming the best version of ourselves in any business, especially when it comes to leadership, to ensure that any notion of toxicity is eradicated.”
Among the complaints were that staffers were overworked, underpaid, and their mental health has suffered as a result of working on the show, leaving one “traumatized.” Staffers claim their experience on the show “is by far the worst experience I’ve ever had in my entire life,” and that it has “deterred me from wanting to work in daytime ever again.”
Many employees said their complaints were taken to human resources, but no action appeared to have been taken.
A rep with NBCUniversal, which produces the show, told Entertainment Tonight in a statement, “We are committed to a safe and respectful work environment and take workplace complaints very seriously and to insinuate otherwise is untrue. When issues are reported they are promptly reviewed, investigated and acted upon as appropriate. The Kelly Clarkson Show strives to build a safe, respectful and equitable workplace that nurtures a culture of inclusivity and creativity.”
Not all have been unsatisfied working on the show. One staffer says the show is a fast-paced production but “nothing about the environment rises to be labeled toxic.” The staffer also says everyone is still being paid through the writer’s strike.
The news comes as production is set to move from Universal Studios Hollywood to NBC Studios in Manhattan’s 30 Rockefeller Center next season. A new set will be built in Studio 6A with accommodation for offices and a live studio audience. The show, renewed through 2025, opened its third and fourth season with a week of shows from the Big Apple. NBCU is currently working out contracts with staffers which includes a way to keep some in LA.
Ahead of the move, Clarkson will release her highly anticipated tenth studio album Chemistry on June 23rd via Atlantic Records. She unveiled the project last month with the release of the double singles “Mine” and “Me.” The global superstar will also headline an exclusive Las Vegas engagement, Chemistry…an Intimate Night with Kelly Clarkson, opening Friday, July 28th at Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Designed exclusively for the Bakkt Theater stage, Clarkson and her longtime band will immerse fans in an intimate music experience that spans her two-decade long catalog of award-winning hits.