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  • Writer's pictureHollywood Magazine

5 reasons people are rightly ready to cancel Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil, whose full name is Phillip Calvin McGraw, is a well-known American television personality, author, and psychologist. He gained fame through his appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and later went on to host his own self-titled talk show, where he offers advice and guidance on various personal and relationship issues.

Dr. Phil has faced criticism for multiple reasons. Critics argue that his show sensationalizes and exploits vulnerable individuals for entertainment purposes. They claim he lacks proper qualifications to provide therapy or advice, and his approach oversimplifies complex issues. Additionally, concerns have been raised about guest exploitation and the show's aftercare support.

1. Exploitation and sensationalism: Critics argue that "Dr. Phil" often sensationalizes and exploits the personal struggles and vulnerabilities of individuals for entertainment purposes. They claim that the show focuses more on creating dramatic narratives than providing genuine help and support to the guests.

One example of Dr. Phil being accused of exploiting a guest is the controversial 2013 episode featuring Shelley Duvall, a former actress battling mental health issues. Critics argued that Dr. Phil took advantage of her vulnerable state, using her distress for ratings rather than providing genuine help and support. The episode sparked a debate about the ethics of reality TV and the responsibility of talk show hosts towards their guests' well-being.

2. Lack of professional ethics: Some critics argue that Dr. Phil's show breaches professional ethics by offering advice and making diagnoses without proper credentials or qualifications. As a television personality, they contend that he should not be providing therapeutic interventions or medical advice without the appropriate professional training.

Dr. Phil has been criticized for not having a valid license to practice psychology. While he holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, he is not licensed to provide therapy or counseling services. Critics argue that this raises concerns about his qualifications and ability to offer appropriate and ethical advice to individuals seeking help on his show.

3. Questionable treatment methods: Critics argue that some of the treatment methods employed on the show may be questionable or potentially harmful. They claim that the confrontational and confrontational approach taken by Dr. Phil and his team can exacerbate the emotional distress and mental health issues of the guests.

One example of someone suffering emotional distress after being a guest on Dr. Phil's show is the case of Todd Herzog, a former winner of the reality show "Survivor" who appeared on Dr. Phil's show in 2013 to confront his struggle with alcoholism. Herzog alleges that he was left alone in his dressing room prior to the taping and provided with a bottle of vodka. As a result, he appeared on the show visibly intoxicated, which led to public humiliation and further exacerbation of his addiction issues. This incident raised concerns about the show's duty of care towards its guests and the potential for exploitation.

4. Lack of follow-up and long-term support: Critics suggest that the show lacks adequate follow-up and ongoing support for guests after their appearances. They argue that the lack of comprehensive aftercare may contribute to potential harm or exacerbation of the guests' issues once the cameras stop rolling.

One example of a person who did not receive proper follow-up after appearing on the Dr. Phil show is the case of Jordan Johnson, a young woman who was featured on the show in 2018 regarding her struggle with addiction. After the intense and highly publicized episode, Johnson claimed that she did not receive any significant aftercare or support from the show, leaving her feeling abandoned and without the necessary resources to continue her recovery journey. This raised concerns about the show's responsibility to provide adequate follow-up care for its guests.

5. Ethical concerns about guest selection and representation: Some critics argue that "Dr. Phil" may selectively choose guests whose stories are more likely to generate high ratings and dramatic narratives, potentially ignoring the broader spectrum of mental health issues and perpetuating stigma by focusing on extreme cases.

One example of a Dr. Phil show featuring a sensationalized guest is the controversial 2017 episode with Danielle Bregoli, also known as the "Cash Me Outside" girl. Bregoli gained viral fame after her appearance on the show, where her defiant attitude and confrontational behavior captivated viewers. Critics argued that Dr. Phil's decision to invite her back for subsequent appearances and capitalize on her notoriety for ratings purposes contributed to the sensationalization of her persona, rather than offering meaningful intervention or guidance.

Some people are rightly ready to cancel Dr. Phil due to concerns of exploitation, questionable methods, lack of credentials, and the show's perceived sensationalism. As the world becomes more challenging to navigate through, it appears that Dr. Phil has only added to the challenge and should definitely call it quits. 

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