Twitter is exploding after a letter Steve Harvey reportedly issued to the staff on his namesake talk show surfaced. The message: Leave me alone.
On Wednesday, Robert Feder, a Chicago-based journalist, shared a letter he obtained from a member of Harvey’s staff. The note was written by Harvey before the fifth season of his talk show, Steve Harvey, aired in September and read in part, “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.”
Harvey continued, “I want all the ambushing to stop now. … You must schedule an appointment. I have been taken advantage of by my lenient policy in the past. This ends now. NO MORE.”
He added: “I am seeking more free time for me throughout the day. … Everyone, do not take offense to the new way of doing business. It is for the good of my personal life and enjoyment.”
— Yashar (@yashar) May 10, 2017
Reaction to the strongly worded missive was mostly positive, with fans commended the comic for expressing his needs clearly. However, some disapproved of Harvey’s tone.
@yashar good for him for being clear about his boundaries & what he's comfortable with
— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) May 10, 2017
— ♒☮️ Jelle ☮️♒ (@jelle_1_77_) May 10, 2017
— Dan Lauckner (@vidman) May 10, 2017
Talk show announcer Andy Richter and blogger KFC even weighed in.
@yashar Went into Conan's dressing rm to read this & everyone in there (due to current events) thought I was going to announce the world was on fire
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) May 10, 2017
Prince Philip retired from public life. Steve Harvey basically retired from professional life with this company wide email. pic.twitter.com/B3exdwEmid
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) May 10, 2017
Harvey has been busy over the past few months. According to a report published by Radar, in May he “blindsided” his Chicago-based staff with a round of layoffs before his move to Los Angeles, where he’s shooting a new pop culture show titled Steve, which airs in September.
“He didn’t offer interviews to many people who have been with him since beginning, and hurt lots of people who would move on their own to LA to be part of the new show,” an anonymous staffer told Radar. “Steve never even addressed the staff about it. He never said a word about them all losing their jobs. These are die-hard loyal staff members.”
There are also rumors that Harvey is simply exhausted by the commute from Chicago to Los Angeles, where he’s involved in other projects.
“The letter reads as though it came from a place of frustration,” Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days, tells Yahoo Beauty. “People might think Steve is entitled because he’s a celebrity, but if someone feels violated, it can lead to a situation like this.”
The letter accomplishes two things, according to Alpert. “It lets people know what’s permissible, according to Steve, and it gives specific directions for protocol, so people understand what’s expected of them.” On the other hand, strong words can create a culture of fear and anxiety for employees, who may feel intimidated by their boss as a result.
Another motivation behind the letter: “It’s possible that just one person has been overstepping his or her boundaries, and instead of calling them out individually, Steve is setting a general policy,” notes Alpert.
Ultimately, Harvey is clarifying his needs, which is always a good thing, according to Alpert. “There’s nothing wrong with hitting the reset button.”
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