Hours after reports of workplace toxicity at The Kelly Clarkson Show hit the web, the daytime talk show’s namesake is vowing to maintain a “safe and healthy environment” for staffers.
“In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believed to be right,” host Kelly Clarkson wrote in an Instagram post on Friday, May 12. “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.”
Earlier on Friday, Rolling Stone reported that employees had alleged being overworked, underpaid, and traumatized mentally while working on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “NBC is protecting the show because it’s their new moneymaker, but Kelly has no clue how unhappy her staff is,” one ex-employee told the magazine. (NBCUniversal Syndication Studios is the studio behind the syndicated talk show.)
Workers who spoke to Rolling Stone said the toxic behavior starts with showrunner and executive producer Alex Duda, with one former employee calling Duda a “monster.”
One former employee said that a producer who reports to Duda yelled at them and cursed them out multiple times on the Kelly Clarkson Show set and that their on-the-job anxiety got so bad that they would regularly vomit. “This job deteriorated my mental health,” that person told Rolling Stone.
Another former employee said The Kelly Clarkson Show “is by far the worst experience I’ve ever had in my entire life.” That employee added: “When I say I was traumatized, I was really traumatized.”
The staffers also said HR fielded their complaints but the producers in question got promotions.
Now The Kelly Clarkson Show, which was drawing 1.4 million daily viewers as of December, is on the move. Production is transferring from Los Angeles to New York City for the upcoming fifth season. And Clarkson intends to only work with the “kindest” people in showbiz.
“I have always been, and will continue to be, committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment at The Kelly Clarkson Show,” the five-time Daytime Emmy Award winner wrote in her Instagram post. “As we prepare for a move to the East Coast, I am more committed than ever to ensuring that not only our team that is moving but also our new team in [New York] is comprised of the best and kindest in the business.”
She went on: “Part of that build will include leadership training for all of the 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, especially when it comes to leadership, to ensure that any notion of toxicity is eradicated.”
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This story originally appeared on TV Insider