Kelly Clarkson Responds to Report of On-Set Toxicity

'Unacceptable,' host of 'Kelly Clarkson Show' says after unhappy staffers talk to 'Rolling Stone'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2023 9:00 AM CDT
Report: Kelly Clarkson Staffers Slam On-Set Toxicity
Kelly Clarkson smiles on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a ceremony in her honor on Sept. 19, 2022, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Kelly Clarkson is known for her bubbly, warm enthusiasm, which makes her a natural to host the eponymous talk show she's helmed on NBC since 2019. But things on the set of The Kelly Clarkson Show aren't quite as warm—at least not according to nearly a dozen staffers who tell Rolling Stone that the work environment is a toxic one. The magazine talked to one current and 10 former employees, who say they were overworked and didn't make enough money for what they had to do, and that working for the show became "traumatizing to their mental health."

The staffers make sure to stress that it's not Clarkson herself who's the issue—one former employee says she's "fantastic" and "a person who never treats anyone with anything but dignity"—but rather the show's producers, including executive producer and showrunner Alex Duda. The employees say they were subjected to screaming, cursing, bullying, and other verbal abuse from Duda and their higher-ups, and that HR seemingly ignored their complaints. Multiple workers say they quit to escape that environment, which one former staffer says was so bad that they'd vomit regularly; another ex-employee says they had to take a monthlong leave of absence and consult with a psychiatrist.

"By far the worst experience I've ever had in my entire life," that person told Rolling Stone. Clarkson took to Instagram to respond to the accusations, per The Hollywood Reporter. "To find out that anyone is feeling unheard and or disrespected on this show is unacceptable," she wrote. "I have always been, and will continue to be, committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment." She made a note that her show is relocating to the East Coast, and that she'll make sure leadership training is in place for "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," Clarkson wrote. (More Kelly Clarkson stories.)

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