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Kelly Clarkson on former NBC boss' alleged toxic workplace: "Accountability is so important"

  • In a wide-ranging interview with the Los Angeles Times, Clarkson wouldn't directly comment on fellow daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres' toxic workplace controversy. But Clarkson admitted she was “more shocked than anyone” by the allegations against former NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy, who was ousted last month shortly after NBC Universal launched an investigation in response to The Hollywood Reporter speaking to current and former employees who say he fostered a homophobic, sexist and racist work environment at NBC. (Telegdy has denied the allegations.) As The Times notes, Telegdy was instrumental in persuading Clarkson to join The Voice and championed her as a daytime talk show host. “The incomparable Kelly Clarkson takes everything she touches to another level and we couldn’t be happier to bring her talent, humor, generosity and compassion to daytime next year,” Telegdy said when The Kelly Clarkson Show was sold to NBC stations in 2019. Clarkson said the recent focus on toxic workplace cultures reaffirmed a lesson she first learned at church camps and on student council as a child: As a leader, “How you act is how all those beneath you are going to feel like they’re allowed to act. “Accountability is so important,” she told The Times. “Everybody messes up. Everybody’s allowed to mess up. We are imperfect; that’s OK. But it’s not OK to pretend it’s not happening. ... I’m the first one in the room to go, ‘Was that me? Did I do it?’ Or, ‘How can I fix it?'" Clarkson, who in addition to dealing with the pandemic is going through a divorce from her country music manager husband Brandon Blackstock, also said of The Kelly Clarkson Show: “I will be completely honest, and I have been since the beginning: I did not want this job. I say that it’s the dream I didn’t know I had because I talk to so many people, and not just celebrities. I’ve talked to the people that have been hit hardest in all of this — financially, emotionally, mentally ... it’s really the everyday people on this show that have just lifted my spirits when I’ve been feeling like, ‘Oh my God, nothing else could possibly go wrong at this point, like, send in the locusts.’”

    TOPICS: Kelly Clarkson, NBC, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Ellen DeGeneres, Paul Telegdy, Daytime TV