Kelly Clarkson’s Show Hit With ‘Toxic’ Workplace Allegations – Hollywood Life

‘Kelly Clarkson Show’ Calls Toxicity Allegations ‘Untrue’ After Former Staffers Speak Out

Though 'The Kelly Clarkson Show' has been a beam of positivity, former members of the show's staff claim they were 'bullied' and 'underpaid' while working in a 'toxic' workplace.

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Image Credit: NBC

UPDATE (May 13 – 2:21am ET): Following NBC’s statement, Kelly released one of her own on Instagram, saying, “In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believe to be right. 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’. 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 NY, is comprised of the best and kindest in the business. 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.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Nearly three years after allegations of abuse and toxicity rocked The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a new Rolling Stone report claims employees of The Kelly Clarkson Show are “overworked, underpaid” and working on Kelly Clarkson‘s talk show has been “traumatizing to their mental health.” Rolling Stone claims it spoke with one current and ten former employees about the conditions on the show, with one ex-employee saying that NBC, the home of the daytime hit program, is “protecting the show because it’s their new money maker, but Kelly has no clue how unhappy her staff is.” HollywoodLife has reached out to Kelly and NBC for comment.

We are committed to a safe and respectful work environment and take workplace complaints very seriously and to insinuate otherwise is untrue,” a spokesperson for NBCU told Us Weekly after the initial Rolling Stone report was published. “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.”

Kelly, 41, is allegedly unaware of the conditions her staffers claim to face. “Kelly is fantastic. She is a person who never treats anyone with anything but dignity and is incredibly appreciative,” a former employee told RS. “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.”


Rolling Stone’s report claims that lower-level staffers are so underpaid that they had to take on second jobs as “jobs as babysitters, dog walkers, and Uber Eats drivers to pay their bills.” The report also claims that higher-ups have created a toxic atmosphere. The report also claims that one former employee quit after a show producer, who reports directly to executive producer, Alex Duda, “yelled and cursed at them multiple times onstage.” Another staffer, who reportedly worked in the entertainment industry for years, took a leave of absence from the job to consult a psychiatrist because they were so “bullied and intimidated by producers who went out of their way to make staffers feel scared to ask questions and get their work done.” HollywoodLife also contacted Alex Duda’s manager for comment.

Another alleged ex-employee claims that their production manager was “verbally abusive to them and others,” claiming that the producer would “speak in a way that you’re not supposed to in a professional environment — cursing, raising his voice, and throwing a huge temper tantrum.”

One former employee claims they felt “bullied, picked on, and put in uncomfortable positions” by Duda. The alleged example cited was when Duda reportedly asked the staffer, who is white, about “Why don’t Black people want to come to the show? Why don’t Black people want to see Kelly?”


The Rolling Stone report has another former employee claiming Duda reprimanded them for asking how the producers would have the show address the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes. “They say after they reported the incident to HR, they were subsequently bullied, yelled at, and left out of future meetings by the executive producers they complained about,” reports Rolling Stone. “The former employee eventually left the show because they felt retaliated against and forced out without any other options.”

One former employee called Duda “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.”

Rolling Stone’s report notes that seven of the former staffers used their exit interviews with NBCUniversal to highlight the negative experiences. The report states they contacted HR about these alleged behaviors, but “nothing of consequence happened.”

Rolling Stone also reports that the Writers Guild of America has launched an investigation into the show. Due to the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement, only writers are permitted to write on the show, but producers allegedly wrote episodes.

The report comes days after Variety confirmed that The Kelly Clarkson Show will relocate to New York City next season. Kelly reportedly spoke with staff members in a meeting back in January, revealing her desire to move east to be near her family and to pursue Broadway and other passions. Afterward, Duda reportedly met with people individually to gauge if they would be interested in relocating. Rolling Stone noted that staffers say they were unaware of the concrete details of the move until they received an email from Duda two minutes before Variety broke the news.