Steve Harvey Stands By His Stern Staff Memo While Admitting He Could’ve Handled It A Bit Better

Steve Harvey would prefer if you not get in his personal space. Well, at least if you’re working on his daytime talk show.

The mustache and cigar enthusiast confirmed that a somewhat unflattering memo telling staff not to bother him was 100% his doing. The letter stressed not to arrive at his dressing room unannounced, not to speak to him in the hallway and not to walk alongside him in the hallway, among other rules. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Harvey admits he could have handled his requests with a touch more finesse, but he stands by the memo.

“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 explained. “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.”

It’s not an unreasonable stance: Busy celebrity would some privacy and time to themselves. It’s the “ambush” tone of things that makes it a less than flattering look for the always busy comedian. Harvey says his work situation was like being imprisoned.

“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 added. “I don’t apologize about the letter, but it’s kind of crazy what people who took this thing and ran, man.”

We’ll leave Steve Harvey’s memo below for you to sort out your own take. Personally, it sounds like the sort of message my mom might send after visiting a self-help guru.

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

(Via Entertainment Tonight & The Hollywood Reporter)