Steve Harvey defends harsh memo to staff saying not to talk to him

CHICAGO — Steve Harvey just wants to be left alone by his staff.

An internal memo leaked by blogger Robert Feder shows a note “The Steve Harvey Show” host sent to his staff as they began recording the show’s fifth season.

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,

Steve Harvey

Harvey, 60, defended the note in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday about not wanting to be “ambushed” by his staff.

“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 Entertainment Tonight in a phone interview. “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.”

He says he sent the email hoping people would respect his privacy while he was at work.

“If you come out your house, you don’t want anybody on your porch waiting on you,” said Harvey. “You walk to your car, you don’t want people bothering you on your way to your car.”

The talk show host said he just wants freedom to be able to move around.

He compared his dressing room to a prison and said he was afraid to go out without someone approaching him. The feeling of not being able to “take a breath of fresh air” without someone coming up to him motivated him to write the note, he told Entertainment Tonight.

“I don’t apologize about the letter, but it’s kind of crazy what people who took this thing and ran, man,” Harvey said before thanking Entertainment Tonight for asking him about the letter.