1684047287 Kelly Clarkson Show Staffers Call It Toxic Behind The Scenes

Kelly Clarkson Show Staffers Call It ‘Toxic’ Behind The Scenes

Kelly Clarkson Show Staffers Call It Toxic Behind The Scenes

Photo: Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The staff at The Kelly Clarkson Show are heartbroken, but NBC doesn’t seem to care about the tears they cry behind the scenes of the network’s hit daytime talk show. In a Rolling Stone report, numerous current and former employees of the show spoke out, describing a toxic, emotionally abusive work culture that the network has not adequately addressed. These employees believe that patterns of inappropriate behavior in the workplace begin with executive producer Alex Duda, who a former employee calls “a monster,” “yelled at and verbally abused” employees and nurtured a culture of producers among her doing the same. A staffer says the show’s executive producer often “cussed, raised his voice and threw violent tantrums,” including an incident in which he tossed a stapler across the office.

Before moving to New York, Kelly Clarkson responded to Rolling Stone’s report via Instagram on Friday. “In my 20 years in entertainment, I’ve always led with my heart and what I thought was right,” she wrote in a post shared to Instagram on Friday. “I love my team at The Kelly Clarkson Show and to find out that anyone on this show feels unheard or disrespected is unacceptable… As we prepare to move to the East Coast, I am more interested than ever in making sure that happens that not only is our team moving, but our new NY team is made up of the best and friendliest in the business.”

Two different sources who worked on the show cite cases of racial insensitivity on the part of Duda. The EP, which is white, reportedly asked a white staffer, “Why don’t black people want to come to the show?” Why don’t black people want to see Kelly?” Another says they were “attacked” by Duda for asking how According to Rolling Stone, executive producers would allow the show to respond to the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes:

They say that after reporting the incident to human resources, they were subsequently bullied, yelled at and excluded from future meetings by the executive producers they complained about. The former employee ended up leaving the show because he felt retaliated and was forced out because he had no other choice.

In addition to the work culture of intimidation and bullying, The Kelly Clarkson Show has struggled with rewarding its employees appropriately. Subordinate employees say they have taken jobs as “babysitters, dog handlers and Uber Eats drivers” to make ends meet. In Scrooge-like fashion, employees also received no pay during the two-week Christmas break. And the Writers Guild of America has launched an investigation into the show’s practice of having producers write episodes for the unionized show.

Several current and former employees said they had repeatedly reported these issues to human resources “to no avail” and that the same producers who exhibited poor leadership and inappropriate behavior “ended up getting promoted.” Seven former show staffers tell Rolling Stone that they “used their exit interviews with NBCUniversal to describe their negative experiences.” In response, NBCUniversal released a statement on the matter Us Weekly on Friday, May 12, denied that it does not take workplace grievances seriously. “We are committed to a safe and respectful work environment and take workplace grievances very seriously. To suggest otherwise is wrong,” a spokesman said in an emailed statement. “When issues are reported, they are promptly reviewed, investigated and acted upon as appropriate. The Kelly Clarkson Show strives to create a safe, respectful and equal workplace that fosters a culture of inclusivity and creativity.”

The 11 current and former employees who spoke to Rolling Stone are all convinced Clarkson herself is unaware of the poor conditions on her show and how unhappy her staff are, calling the host “fantastic”. This report comes days after it was announced that The Kelly Clarkson Show will be relocating from Los Angeles to New York City for the upcoming season. But given these revelations, perhaps Duda shouldn’t start looking for an apartment in Manhattan just yet.

This story has been updated with additional information.