Steve Harvey Mocks His Leaked Memo: "I Can't Write"

"I learned two things from that email. One, I can't write. And two, I should never write."
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Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey, ubiquitous TV personality, has an Achilles heel. It's the long line of proverbial elephants that often follows him into any room.

On Thursday, meeting with reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour to discuss his new daytime talk show, that room was a hotel ballroom in Beverly Hills — and the elephant was the recently leaked memo in which Harvey essentially told his staff to stay the hell away from him unless they have an appointment.

"I learned two things from that email. One, I can't write. And two, I should never write," said Harvey, laughing and echoing the non-apology he gave in May. "It wasn't that big of a deal for me until I saw it on CNN. I'm a congenial guy."

Clarifying how the leak happened in the first place, Harvey said one of his staffers in Chicago was not offered a job in his Los Angeles move. The leak was their retribution. New showrunner Shane Farley said that few of that staff was making the move to the new show — 10 out of roughly 60. Harvey already blankets primetime with ABC's Celebrity Family Feud and Funderdome and NBC's Little Big Shots spinoff Forever Young. And he seemed very comfortable with the topic of the memo. Harvey tried to liken his approach in writing it to that of a father regularly bombarded by his children when he walks in the door. "It's like if you come home and all of the kids are waiting for you in the kitchen and start hammering you," he said.

Harvey is certainly ahead of any memo-related cracks as he hits the promotional circuit for his latest effort. During one of several new promos for the new talk show, three of which screened for reporters on Thursday, Harvey is seen opening a mail bag of suggestions of what people would like to see: "Will you be doing more emails from the staff?" Harvey reads in the spot, eyebrows raised. "This is from the staff. We just want a heads-up."

Launching a new show is a risky prospect. The host announced in late 2016 that he was ending his wildly successful syndicated talker The Steve Harvey Show to launch a new one, Steve, with an ownership stake and new partners IMG and NBCUniversal. The project, which moves Harvey to L.A. with an increased emphasis on celebrity guests, is expected to be less Maury Povich and more Ellen DeGeneres.

"People don't care about the 'Coupon Queen' anymore," he said, explaining the kind of subjects from which he wants to distance himself.

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