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Jimmy Fallon Apologizes to Staff After Article on Workplace Environment

Mr. Fallon’s light-touch approach to the show — with an emphasis on singing, dancing and playing games — seemed to match the national mood.

But not long after Mr. Fallon tousled the hair of Donald J. Trump, who was then a Republican presidential candidate, in a 2016 interview, his show’s ratings began to slide.

In early 2017, just as Mr. Trump took over the White House, viewership for Mr. Colbert’s “The Late Show” eclipsed “The Tonight Show,” as Mr. Colbert and many late-night hosts began delivering pointed political monologues, a course that Mr. Fallon shied away from. Though viewership for all late-night shows has fallen in recent years, Mr. Colbert has continued to best Mr. Fallon.

During the ratings slide, Mr. Fallon has gone through a number of showrunner changes.

Mr. Fallon, as well as other late-night hosts, including Mr. Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver, began broadcasting a podcast together last week called “Strike Force Five.” Proceeds from the show are being given to their out-of-work staff members as the writers’ strike has kept their shows dark for 129 days and counting.

Chris Miller, who has been the “Tonight Show” showrunner since 2022, sent an email to staff members on Thursday shortly after the Rolling Stone article was published.

“While I know the reporter reached out to many of you before the piece ran, I don’t believe what’s written is reflective of the overall culture of our extraordinary team that I’m so lucky and proud to work with every day,” he wrote. “The place described in the article is not the place I know. Still, it’s disappointing to see something published that does not capture the positive and inclusive environment I believe we have created together.”


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