The ship was tumbling end over end, the internal gravity was not compensating either enough, or at all, not changing the direction of "up" so that no matter how the ship twisted, it kept applying gravity as if it weren't, gyroscopically speaking.
No, if the ship was tumbling, they would feel centrifugal forces away from the center of rotation. People wouldn't be "falling" all in the same direction (i.e. toward Earth).
Don't bother defending the scene. It was completely absurd.