“I haven’t actually been able to talk about this a lot. I talked to my crew back in January through tears because I have built such an amazing group of people. Obviously, we’ve been very successful and I love everybody I work with and we have such great relationships,” Clarkson, 41, told TalkShopLive on Thursday, May 25. “I was like, ‘Guys I need you to know what’s happening. It’s either I’m not going to be able to continue with the show or I got to go the East Coast.'”
“My family is East Coast. They’re North Carolina-based. It was one of those things where I just had to. Also, there were a lot of personal things going on, too. I feel like our family — me and my kids — really needed a fresh start and I just could not get it here [in Los Angeles],” she continued. “There was just hurdle after hurdle with things.”
Clarkson noted that she warned the crew of The Kelly Clarkson Show about the shakeup.
“I wanted to give them a heads up but also I have had such a great experience with all these people and these relationships. It kind of sucks to uproot it and move it but that was 100 percent my idea,” she recalled. “It was really cool that NBC backed me because I was, like, ‘Y’all I love doing this show, I really do, I didn’t even know I would but I got to make a change for me and my family so any chance we can maybe do this. I know we can’t do this from my ranch [in Montana]. So, any chance we can do it in New York, which is at least closer to my family.'”
The “Breakaway” artist went on to say that she was preparing to film season 5 — and hinted at plans to address earlier reports of a toxic work environment.
“I’m getting my show settled and we’re establishing an amazing crew. We’re figuring stuff out on the inside. And we’re figuring it out to where we’re going to have a great time and a great workplace,” Clarkson shared. “Because I also told NBC this too, before I even started working on this show. [I said], ‘Look, I’m getting too old to work in an environment that isn’t healthy and fun. I had to do that for years in meetings and working with really incredibly mean people sometimes so I just didn’t want to do that anymore.’ So I’m focused on the talk show for a minute but I also am working on things in the background.”
Earlier this month, Rolling Stone published an exposé in which several past employees of The Kelly Clarkson Show claimed that they were overworked, underpaid and found the work environment to be “traumatizing to their mental health.”
Despite the allegations, multiple former employees told the outlet that the American Idol alum was not aware of what was happening behind the scenes. Clarkson, for her part, addressed the allegations in a statement.
“In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I’ve always led with my heart and what I believed to be right,” she wrote via Instagram on May 13. “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.”
The Grammy winner added: “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 [New York] is comprised of the best and kindest in the business.”