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Kelly Clarkson rapidly addresses allegations of a ‘toxic workplace’ on her talk show

Kelly Clarkson has addressed allegations of a “toxic work environment” on her self-titled talk show.

The musician, who rose to fame after winning the first series of American Idol in 2002, has fronted The Kelly Clarkson Show for four seasons since 2019.

The uplifting daytime show has welcomed guests including  Sandra Bullock, Courteney Cox, Ben Affleck and Zendaya.

In a recent Rolling Stone report, published on Friday (12 May), staff members – one current and 10 former employees – claimed that behind the scenes is a “toxic work environment”.

The report alleges that the show’s producers have “overworked” and “underpaid” employees, who claim that working on The Kelly Clarkson Show has damaged their mental health.

The singer and TV host has since responded to the allegations on social media.

On Friday night (12 May), Clarkson wrote: “In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believed 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.”

Employees who came forward in the report did say that Clarkson was “fantastic”, adding that they would be “shocked if she knew” what was happening.

Niall Horan is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show (The Kelly Clarkson Show)
Niall Horan is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show (The Kelly Clarkson Show)

Another added that the host has “no clue how unhappy her staff is”.

Clarkson’s statement continued to outline the next steps for herself and the show, reading: “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.”

The allegations made against the producers of The Kelly Clarkson Show come three years after The Ellen DeGeneres Show became the subject of an investigation over similar claims made by staff.

Numerous staff members, both then and previously employed by the show, made allegations of sexual misconduct, racism and bullying taking place. DeGeneres was also at the centre of unverified allegations about her off-camera behaviour.

The investigation resulted in the removal of three of the series’ producers, and DeGeneres issued an apology to former staff.

In a 2021 interview, DeGeneres claimed the media coverage of the allegations felt “too orchestrated”. She also described the criticism as “very misogynistic”.

The long-running talk show aired its final episode in 2022 after 19 seasons on air. DeGeneres denied that the decision to end her show was a result of the controversy.