The internet has spoken, following reports that talk show host Steve Harvey issued a memo laden with unreasonable demands to staff members working on his eponymous show. Many have expressed disgust at the 60-year-old host’s demands, but a select few have defended the desire for privacy and “alone time” Harvey’s email to staff allegedly requested in no uncertain terms.
The controversy started on May 2, when Radar Online reported that after five years working together on the Steve Harvey Show, Harvey fired “all his Chicago staff” and hired new employees to take over once he moves to Los Angeles to debut a new show, simply entitled Steve, this September. The report suggested that most of Harvey’s Chicago crew was willing to join their boss in L.A., only for them to be left blindsided when Steve reportedly chose not to interview any of them for potential jobs on the new show, and did not directly address any job-related matters to these employees.
Adding to the furor, Chicago journalist Robert Feder took to his personal blog to share a leaked memo Harvey supposedly sent to his staff at the start of his show’s fifth and final season. While its authenticity has yet to be confirmed, the Steve Harvey memo paints a picture of a seemingly unapproachable individual who detests casual and/or unexpected conversation with the people who work for him.
“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.”
In its entirety, the alleged Steve Harvey memo may not offer any clues as to why he fired his staff. But assuming it did come from him, the language used suggests he had once been lenient with staff members wanting to talk to him, only for him to be “ambushed” time and again.
“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.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 11, 2017
The purported memo concludes with Harvey asking his staff to understand the reasons behind the policies, adding that he made them “for the good of my personal life and enjoyment.”
Comments on Feder’s report on the leaked Steve Harvey memo are mostly directed against Harvey himself, with readers accusing him of being a “terrible human being” despite his ability to be charming on camera, and forgetting the fact that he came from a humble background. Some commenters even suggested that Harvey became a different person after he began associating with President Donald Trump.
Twitter users, meanwhile, had a field day posting videos and funny tweets poking fun at the controversial host, while also calling him out for his alleged “diva” behavior.
*Walking past Steve Harvey in the hallway*
"Hey Steve, how's it go-" pic.twitter.com/MClZk3unHs
— JW (@MrJWells619) May 10, 2017
Your no.1 fan and prayer warrior. Truth- Ltr to staff could have been done diplomaticly and achieved same results. Very dissapointed.
— LA SONJA PEISKER (@sonibou) May 11, 2017
Probably how the Miss Columbia mishap occurred. No one could approach @IAmSteveHarvey with the correct results.
— LifeDeconstructed (@MackTenn74) May 11, 2017
WE POLLED 1,000 PEOPLE: NAME FIVE PEOPLE WHO CAN APPROACH STEVE HARVEY:
— Slav-no-kami (@SteveDoom) May 11, 2017
Who knew Steve Harvey was a diva?
— Roger J Diamond (@Rojodi) May 11, 2017
However, there were several other people who responded to Feder’s article or took to Twitter, defending the policies included in the purported Steve Harvey memo and saying that celebrities such as Harvey deserve their privacy.
“People took advantage of his niceness and it got too much for him so he had to place rules for him not to be badgered all the the time. that is what it sounds like to me,” wrote one woman who commented on Feder’s article.
“People should respect the private time he wants.”
According to Variety, Steve Harvey’s memo controversy is far from the first time that his behavior has earned him flak from the media. The publication brought up an offensive joke he made on the Steve Harvey Show about Asian men, as well as the time he earned the ire of the LGBT community and its supporters for making homophobic comments on a summer 2015 episode.
As of this writing, Steve Harvey has not issued any comment on the staff memo, its contents, or whether he sent the document or not.
[Featured Image by David Becker/Getty Images for Nu-Opp, Inc]