Kelly Clarkson Speaks Out After Talk Show Staff Allege Toxic Work Environment
In a statement she posted to social media on Friday evening (May 12), the singing superstar and television personality says she has always "led with my heart and what I believed to be right ... And to find out that anyone is feeling unheard and or disrespected on this show is unacceptable."
Rolling Stone published an expose on Friday in which ten former staffers and one current employee of Clarkson's show open up about what they represent as an unacceptably difficult work environment in which they are overworked, underpaid and dealing with mental health issues as a result.
One former employee characterized their time working on the show as "the worst experience I've ever had in my entire life." That person said their time on the show left them "traumatized," adding that they never want to work in daytime television ever again. Another former staffer tells Rolling Stone that the "job deteriorated my mental health."
Multiple former employees say they reported their concerns to the show's human resources department, but that brought no results.
Clarkson is in the process of moving her family and her show from Los Angeles to New York City, and she goes on to say that she has "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 ensure 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."
She adds that she is planning "leadership training" for the entire 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," she concludes.
Clarkson's former staffers do not directly accuse the star of wrongdoing in Rolling Stone's report. One ex-employee calls her "fantastic," adding that Clarkson probably has "no clue how unhappy her staff is."
"She is a person who never treats anyone with anything but dignity and is incredibly appreciative," a source states. "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."