Kelly Clarkson Wants ‘Unacceptable’ Toxic Culture at Talk Show ‘Eradicated’
Kelly Clarkson is addressing the allegations of a toxic environment at the Kelly Clarkson Show made by staffers in a new Rolling Stone investigation. Early morning Saturday, the talk show host issued a statement on Instagram, describing the claims as “unacceptable” as she promised to institute leadership trainings for herself and those working on her show.
“In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believed to be right,” she wrote on Instagram. “I love my team at the Kelly Clarkson Show. And to find out that anyone is feeling unheard or disrespected on the show is unacceptable.”
“I have always been and will continue to be committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment at the Kelly Clarkson Show,” she continued. “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.”
Clarkson ended her message by promising to institute leadership training for her senior staff and for herself.
“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,” she said.
Clarkson’s statement comes after Rolling Stone published a report featuring interviews with 10 former and one current employee who allege that the show’s producers, including its executive producer Alex Duda, had made working for the NBC talk show a nightmare.
“This job deteriorated my mental health,” one former employee said.
“It deterred me from wanting to work in daytime ever again,” said another. “When I say I was traumatized, I was really traumatized.”
Duda did not respond to requests for comment for Rolling Stone‘s original story.
One employee told Rolling Stone that the show’s production manager was verbally abusive to them and that co-workers walked on egg shells around him. “He would speak in a way that you’re not supposed to in a professional environment — cursing, raising his voice, and throwing a huge temper tantrum,” the former employee said. “Other people who know him would laugh it off and say, ‘Oh, he’s in a bad mood,’ but it shouldn’t be laughed off. Why does he get a pass for bad behavior?”
Despite the allegations about the toxic work culture, one former employee said Clarkson herself was “fantastic” and was likely unaware of the issues at her show. “I would be shocked if she knew. I’d be floored if she knew the staff wasn’t getting paid for two weeks of Christmas hiatus,” the former employee said. “The Kelly that I interacted with and that everyone knows would probably be pretty aghast to learn that.”
Following the piece’s publication, an NBCUniversal spokesperson issued a statement about the allegations.
“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 statement read. “The Kelly Clarkson Show strives to build a safe, respectful and equitable workplace that nurtures a culture of inclusivity and creativity.”