Kelly Clarkson Responds to Scathing Accusations by Show’s Staff

Kelly Clarkson

Heavy/Getty Kelly Clarkson speaks to a reporter

Hours after a blistering report was published by Rolling Stone featuring the complaints of one current and 10 former staff members of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” the music superstar and coach on “The Voice” responded to claims of behind-the-scenes toxicity that, they said, compromised their health and caused many to leave.

The Rolling Stone exposé, published on May 12, 2023, featured interviews with past and present staffers who claim they’d been “overworked, underpaid, and that working at the show was traumatizing to their mental health.”

“The Kelly Clarkson Show” is about to wrap up its fourth season and announced earlier in the week that the talk show — and Clarkson herself — will be moving from Los Angeles to New York before a new season premieres in the fall. Though many employees are still up in the air about their futures, given news of the move, one person who has committed to the move is executive producer and showrunner Alex Duda, who was named frequently in the Rolling Stone story as the ringleader of the chaos and inappropriate behavior that’s resulted in what interviewees called “toxic” and “traumatizing.”

Those interviewed insisted that Clarkson likely didn’t know about the poor working conditions, but in a statement released on social media late at night on May 12, she said she is determined to remedy the situation.

Kelly Clarkson Says She & Execs Will Undergo Training

Some fans were irritated that Clarkson didn’t address the accusations earlier in the day, and Rolling Stone said she did not respond to a request for comment. But the star posted a statement on her social media accounts late, with white text on a black background, late in the evening on May 12.

“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 disrespected on this show is unacceptable,” she continued. “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.”

Clarkson did not comment specifically on the fact that Duda was accused of misconduct in the claims and is slated to continue overseeing the show in New York. One former employee told the outlet, “I think Alex Duda’s 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.”

Clarkson did say, however, that executives will participate in special leadership training.

“Part of that build will include leadership training for all of the senior staff, including myself,” Clarkson said in her statement. “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.”

NBCU Also Provided a Statement, Denying Claims

Kelly Clarkson

NBCKelly Clarkson sings on “The Kelly Clarkson Show”

According to Rolling Stone, seven of the former staffers said they shared their negative experiences with NBCUniversal during their exit interviews but did not feel they were addressed. In fact, one said that the two producers they specifically complained about later received promotions.

NBCU responded to the article by issuing a statement several hours before Clarkson did, according to Yahoo! News. 

“We are committed to a safe and respectful work environment and take workplace complaints very seriously and to insinuate otherwise is untrue,” the statement said. “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.”

Clarkson may not be able to reunite with her full staff before her move to New York. According to one employee who spoke with Rolling Stone, “The Kelly Clarkson Show” was scheduled to tape new episodes through May 20, but because of the writers’ strike that began on May 1, it’s not likely that the current season will be completed. Employees were told, the source said, that they’ll still be paid through the next few weeks.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments