Steve Harvey confirmed that he had sent a harshly worded memo to the staff of his NBCUniversal-produced syndicated talk show prior to the start of this season, which just wrapped production, reported Entertainment Tonighton Thursday.
"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," he told ET anchor 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.”
In the memo, which was first reportedby Chicago-based media reporter Robert Feder and quickly went viral, Harvey wrote: “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.”
Harvey, who thanked Frazier for asking, admitted that “in hindsight, I probably should have handled it a little bit differently.”
But he also didn’t apologize for the letter’s tone, saying, "I don't apologize about the letter, but it's kind of crazy what people who took this thing and ran, man. I appreciate you asking me."
This iteration of Harvey’s talk show is wrapping production in Chicago and is moving to Los Angeles. There, it will relaunch as Steve. The new version of the show will continue to be distributed by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution but it will be produced by IMG. Shane Farley is the new showrunner.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.