Would you stop your boss in the hallway if you had a pressing question? TV host and comedian Steve Harvey made certain to let his staff know that would be a big mistake.
Harvey, who has received backlash from the Black community for his meeting with President Donald Trump, is now being placed in the hot seat for his abrupt letter to “The Steve Harvey Show” staff; and he’s not apologizing for it.
The letter sent to employees at the beginning of the current season was leaked this week to Chicago media writer Robert Feder and published in his blog on Wednesday. Harvey’s comments to his staff were shared with Feder during the syndicated talk show’s final week of production in Chicago.
After five seasons, the show is moving to Los Angeles and changing into a daytime series called “Steve.” Current staff members might be laid off in the transition, according to Variety.
Harvey’s memo to staff:
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,
Perhaps Harvey should take time to consider the needs of his staff, which supports him so that he can have a life of “enjoyment.”
In a phone interview with Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight, Harvey said he sent the email “asking everyone to simply honor and respect” his privacy.
He felt as if he was being “ambushed” by staff when walking from the stage to his dressing room, for example. Harvey said that he’s always had a policy where “you can come and talk to me,” but people were taking advantage of it, he said.
Harvey also noted that he would not apologize for the letter.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he told Frazier.
The letter is again creating public criticism toward Harvey. In January, he received backlash from the Black community after he met with Trump at Trump Tower to discuss affordable housing with now Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.
“I walked away feeling like I had just talked with a man who genuinely wants to make a difference in this area,” Harvey tweeted on January 13 regarding his meeting with Trump. “I feel that something really great could come out of this … I would sit with him anytime.”
“The only way we can heal the divide in this country is through conversation,” Harvey said on his radio show in defense of the meeting.
In April, he said Trump is sticking to his promises to help America’s inner cities.
“As far as doing what he promised me he would do, he is doing it,” he told TMZ. “I’m working with HUD. I’m going to get some housing for underprivileged people. We’re going to set up some centers around the country. I’ve met with HUD. It’s going really well. God willing, it will work out.”
While touring a facility for the poor in Ohio this month, Carson said that HUD housing shouldn’t be too comfortable for residents.
He explained in an interview that compassion means not giving people “a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: ‘I’ll just stay here. They will take care of me.’”
What approach should Harvey have taken with staff members?