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Kelly Clarkson Responds To Article That Claims Her Show Has A Toxic Workplace

In a recent magazine article, 11 anonymous employees have accused NBC’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show” of fostering a “toxic work environment” and now the singer-turned-host is responding.

In a May 12 Rolling Stone report, 10 current employees and one former said that they were overworked and underpaid while at the same time subjected to a work environment that was “traumatizing to their mental health.” The report described the employees as “lower-level staffers” who said they needed to take on additional jobs as “babysitters, dog walkers, and Uber Eats drivers” in order to get by financially.

In a statement posted to social media early Saturday morning, Clarkson responded to the article, saying that in her 20 years in the business, she has “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 said, in part. “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 added that as the show prepares to move to the East Coast, she is “more committed than ever” to making sure that her staff, both new and old, is the “best and kindest in the business.”

She said there will be leadership training for all the senior staff, including her.

“There is always room to grow and ensure we are all being/becoming the best version of ourselves in any business,” she concluded. “Especially when it comes to leadership to ensure that any notion of toxicity is eradicated.”

The Rolling Stone article reported that the employees featured in the story were “veterans in the entertainment industry who know the potential downsides of working in a high-pressure environment like daytime television and are disappointed to see this culture perpetuated on a show that had a chance to make a difference in the industry.”

Earlier on May 12, an NBCUniversal spokesperson issued a response to the allegations, saying that it is taking the “claims very seriously.” NBCUniversal is the parent company of both “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and TODAY.com.

“We are committed to a safe and respectful work environment and take workplace complaints very seriously, and to insinuate otherwise is untrue,” the spokesperson said. “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 magazine further reported that the show’s accusers pointed to the show’s executive and senior producers as the problem and that those who raised their complaints to HR were frustrated with the response.

The article also underlined that all of the employees expressed that they were “confident” the show’s talk show host Kelly Clarkson “doesn’t have a sense of how unhappy employees are with the working conditions.”

“Kelly is fantastic,” according to a former employee who spoke to Rolling Stone. “She is a person who never treats anyone with anything but dignity and is incredibly appreciative… 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 Kelly that I interacted with and that everyone knows would probably be pretty aghast to learn that.”

TODAY.com reached out to Clarkson’s team for comment but did not immediately hear back.

“The Kelly Clarkson Show” isn’t the only daytime show to make headlines for claims of toxic work environments playing out behind the scenes. In 2022, three executive producers for the “Ellen DeGeneres” show were fired after BuzzFeed News reported that employees had complained of the show’s toxic workplace environment. When the show returned that fall, DeGeneres also privately issued an apology to the staff and addressed the controversy publicly in the opening monologue of her season 18 premiere.

 “I learned that things happened here that never should’ve happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say that I’m so sorry to the people who were affected,” she said at the time. “I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

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