Comedian Steve Harvey offered an unapologetic response for an email he sent his daytime talk-show staffers, ordering them not to speak with him unless asked to and warning that security staff would keep them from his door.
“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, 60, told “Entertainment Tonight” Thursday. “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 added, “I’m in my makeup chair, they walk in the room. I’m having lunch, they walk in, they don’t knock. 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.’ ”
Harvey did add: “I probably should’ve handled it a little bit differently.”
On Wednesday, Robert Feder’s Chicago-media blog, affiliated with the suburban Daily Herald newspaper, published the email, distributed to Harvey’s staff at the beginning of this season. The memo said in part, “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. . . . 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.”
Referring to the studio of his talk-show — which Thursday concluded a five-season run in Chicago ahead of a move to Los Angeles — as a “prison,” Harvey told “ET,” “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.”