Kelly Clarkson broke her silence and responded to claims from unnamed staffers of a toxic work environment on her talk show.
The 41-year-old singer and host of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” posted a message on her Instagram account over the weekend that addressed accusations from 11 employees in a Rolling Stone article. The anonymous sources said they were victims of bullying and verbal abuse from the show’s producers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believed to be right,” Clarkson wrote. “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,” she added, noting that the production was preparing to move to the East Coast and out of Los Angeles.
“Part of that build will include leadership training for all of the senior staff, including myself,” Clarkson’s statement continued. “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 comments come after allegations that producers overworked and underpaid staffers who found the working environment “traumatizing to their mental health.”
One said, “I remember going up on the roof of the stage to cry, being like, ‘Oh, my gosh, what am I doing? Why am I putting myself through this?’”
Another added, “I think Alex Duda’s [the talk show’s executive producer] a monster. I have a friend who’s an executive producer who warned me about taking this job, because apparently she has done this on every show she’s worked on.”
The employees also made it clear that none of the “toxicity” claims were directed at Clarkson, who they called “fantastic” and said that they “would be shocked if she knew” what was going on behind the scenes.
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“She [Clarkson] is a person who never treats anyone with anything but dignity and is incredibly appreciative,” one person said. “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.”
A spokesperson for NBCUniversal released a statement to THR that read, “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 Kelly Clarkson Show” launched in 2019 and is in its fourth season.