Kelly Clarkson broke her silence, following allegations that her eponymous daytime talk show has become a toxic work environment. On Friday evening, May 12, she took to Instagram and posted the following message: “In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believe 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. 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.”
The American Idol winner’s message comes after NBCU refuted Friday’s Rolling Stone report that claimed employees of The Kelly Clarkson Show are “overworked, underpaid” and that the experience has been “traumatizing to their mental health.” In a statement, the company said, “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.”
The sources for Rolling Stone insisted that Kelly was unaware of the unsavory conditions behind the scenes of her own show, and that the culprits were producers and higher-ups. “Kelly has no clue how unhappy her staff is,” one ex employee told the outlet, as another claimed, “I would be shocked if she knew.” They added, “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 pretty aghast to learn that.”
Although the popular star may not have been privy to the allegations, it didn’t make them appear any less problematic. One former employee described a scenario in which a producer “yelled and cursed at them multiple times on stage.” Another recalled a manager throwing a stapler across the room while “cursing, raising his voice, and throwing a huge temper tantrum.” And yet another claimed that they took a leave of absence from the job and sought out a psychiatrist because they were so “bullied and intimidated by producers who went out of their way to make staffers feel scared to ask questions and get their work done.”
A current employee tried summing up the duality of the show, telling Rolling Stone, “Kelly [Clarkson] uses a sign-off: ‘Make it a great day and if it’s not great, change it,’ but it’s hard to exist and work in a machine that’s pumping out this happy, bubbly, positive messaging and then you have people here who are just treated badly.”
Now that the new queen of daytime talk has spoken, hopefully the show will go on… in a more positive manner. And without a hitch in their new home of New York, as Kelly is moving the production from LA to the Big Apple before next season, per The Los Angeles Times. HollywoodLife will keep you posted!