Kelly Clarkson Addresses Report Alleging Toxic Work Culture on Her Talk Show: ‘Committed to Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Environment’
Kelly Clarkson has addressed a report detailing the culture on her daytime talk show, which contained allegations that “The Kelly Clarkson Show” is toxic behind the scenes.
“To find out that anyone is feeling unheard and or disrespected on this show is unacceptable,” Clarkson said in a statement posted on Instagram. “I have always been, and will continue to be, committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment at ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show.'”
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On Friday, Rolling Stone published a report in which 11 current and former employees anonymously made complaints about being “overworked” and “underpaid” on Clarkson’s talk show, telling the magazine that working under the show’s “toxic environment” was “traumatizing to their mental health.” In the report, the anonymous staffers said Clarkson is “fantastic,” but a number of the producers make their lives “hell.”
The report was published days after the talk show announced it would be moving production from Los Angeles to New York next season, meaning that many staffers and crew members will likely not continue with the show if they are not interested in moving across the country. News of the show’s move was first reported by Variety.
According to the Rolling Stone piece, employees had known for months that it was very possible that the show was moving, with Clarkson expressing her desire to move to New York and the showrunner taking meetings with employees to gauge their interest in moving with the show. But per the report, the staff did not learn that the big move was confirmed until “two minutes before” Variety‘s story published via a staff-wide email.
A spokesperson for NBCUniversal tells Variety 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.”
An individual who works on the talk show tells Variety that many staff members among the team of over 200 people feel the Rolling Stone report is not reflective of their positive experience working on the show.
This staff member tells Variety that just this month when the writers strike began, Clarkson sent a video of herself with a heartfelt message to the staff, letting them know that she would be covering their pay out of her own pocket for the days they were already scheduled to work. Production on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” was shut down when the writers strike began, ahead of its May 20 season-end, which is when the show was planned to go on summer hiatus.
In Clarkson’s post, the host stated that she is committed to ensuring the show’s team is made up of the “best and kindest in the business.”
“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,'” Clarkson said.
“I have always been, and will continue to be, committed to creating and maintaining 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 ensuring that not only our team that is moving, but also our new team in NY, is comprised of the best and kindest in the business. 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.”
Clarkson’s post garnered positive reaction from fans who thanked her for addressing the report. “I appreciate the fact that you acknowledged this, and your transparency on how you want the show to improve going forward! You are a class act always,” one person commented.
When Clarkson was on the cover of Variety last year, she spoke about the importance of leadership and setting a positive tone from the top. She spoke highly of her team and made a point to shout out other women in the talk show genre, which has been notoriously toxic for decades. Clarkson said that ahead of her show’s most recent season, they pushed their hours back 30 minutes so that she, and other parents working on the show, would have time to drop their kids off at school.
“Everyone at NBC is amazing and everybody wants everyone to be successful,” Clarkson told Variety. “It’s really helpful to have that type of unity in your environment at work.”
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