UPDATED with Harvey quotes: Steve Harvey confirms to Entertainment Tonight that he wrote the No Pop-Ins memo, explaining he just “didn’t want to be in this prison” of his office anymore. The interview is set to air on tonight’s ET.
“I could not find a way to walk from the stage to my dressing room, to sit in my makeup chair, to walk from my dressing room to the stage or to just sit and have lunch without somebody just walking in,” Harvey tells ET‘s Kevin Frazier. “I’ve always had a policy where, you know, you can come and talk to me — so many people are great around here, but some of them just started taking advantage of it.
“Look, man, I’m in my makeup chair, they walk in the room. I’m having lunch, they walk in, they don’t knock,” he continued. “I’m in the hallway, I’m getting ambushed by people with friends that come to the show and having me sign this and do this. I just said, ‘Wait a minute.’ And in hindsight, I probably should’ve handled it a little bit differently.
“I just didn’t want to be in this prison anymore where I had to be in this little room, scared to go out and take a breath of fresh air without somebody approaching me, so I wrote the letter.”
PREVIOUSLY: Good morning everyone, and please don’t look at me much less speak to me. Such was the gist of Steve Harvey’s quickly infamous internal memo that should be filed under How Not To Endear Yourself To Staffers.
Harvey, who is moving his revamped daytime talk show from Chicago to California, seems to have angered at least some of the Windy City crew he’ll leave behind. Apparently one such person leaked an old Harvey memo to a local media blog in Chicago, and the persona of Harvey contained therein isn’t exactly a man of the people.
“I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway,” Harvey wrote in his instructional memo to Steve Harvey show staff at the beginning of the fifth, and final, season in Chicago, “and do not attempt to walk with me.”
Certainly few will be walking with the boss from Chicago to L.A., where Harvey will produce Steve, his new daily syndicated show with IMG (distribution by NBCUniversal Domestic Television) for a September bow.
As a parting gift, someone apparently on the Chicago staff sent Chicago blogger Robert Felder this message from the boss delivered to staff at the start of the now-ended season. In fairness, Harvey is a very busy man, with the talk show, ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud, NBC’s Little Big Shots and a possible in-the-works Showtime at the Apollo revival. None of which is likely to soothe the hurt feelings of the out-of-work Chicago crew.
Here’s Harvey’s email, as first reported by Chicago blogger Robert Feder and now gone viral. CAPS and attitude are Harvey’s.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome back.
I’d like you all to review and adhere to the following notes and rules for Season 5 of my talk show.
There will be no meetings in my dressing room. No stopping by or popping in. NO ONE.
Do not come to my dressing room unless invited.
Do not open my dressing room door. IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED.
My security team will stop everyone from standing at my door who have the intent to see or speak to me.
I want all the ambushing to stop now. That includes TV staff.
You must schedule an appointment.
I have been taken advantage of by my lenient policy in the past. This ends now. NO MORE.
Do not approach me while I’m in the makeup chair unless I ask to speak with you directly. Either knock or use the doorbell.
I am seeking more free time for me throughout the day.
Do not wait in any hallway to speak to me. I hate being ambushed. Please make an appointment.
I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway, and do not attempt to walk with me.
If you’re reading this, yes, I mean you.
Everyone, do not take offense to the new way of doing business. It is for the good of my personal life and enjoyment.
Thank you all,