Daytime host Phil McGraw has fired back at a report alleging that staffers on his show “Dr. Phil” helped guests with addiction problems acquire drugs and alcohol in an effort to drive onscreen drama. A joint investigation by the Boston Globe and the website Stat found multiple alleged incidents in which the show endangered guests.
“The Stat article does not fairly or accurately describe the methods of ‘Dr. Phil,’ the TV show, or its mission to educate millions of viewers about drug and alcohol addiction,” a “Dr. Phil” spokesperson said Friday. “The show does not give drugs or alcohol to its guests and any suggestions to the contrary is errant nonsense.”
Published Thursday, the Stat-Boston Globe report quoted Todd Herzog, a former “Survivor” winner who appeared on “Dr. Phil” in 2013 and discussed his addiction problems. On the show, Herzog appeared severely intoxicated. But according to the article, his intoxication was facilitated by “Dr. Phil” staffers. Herzog claimed that when he arrived at the show, he found drugs and alcohol waiting in his dressing room.
Family members for two other guests claimed in the article that “Dr. Phil” staffers encouraged their relatives to go to Skid Row in Los Angeles and buy heroin to help them deal with withdrawal pains.
In the article, Martin Greenberg, a psychologist who works on “Dr. Phil,” denied that Herzog provided drugs and alcohol and claimed that staffers who filmed guests’ trips to Skid Row were simply documenting behavior that those guests engaged in of their own accord.
Read the full statement from the “Dr. Phil” spokesperson below:
The Stat article does not fairly or accurately describe the methods of “Dr. Phil,” the TV show, or its mission to educate millions of viewers about drug and alcohol addiction. The show does not give drugs or alcohol to its guests and any suggestions to the contrary is errant nonsense.
For the past 16 years, the Dr. Phil show has provided valuable information to viewers by telling compelling stories about people who are fighting the battle to overcome alcohol and drug addiction. Unfortunately, addicts often lash out at the very people who are trying the hardest to help them break the cycle of addiction. Although terribly unfortunate, this is an understandable part of the behavior of addicts on their journey to recovery. Deception, dishonesty and denial are hallmarks of addiction. It tears families apart and certainly creates levels of complexities when we produce these important shows. None of this will deter the Dr. Phil show from it’s commitment to continue to educate and inform the public about the worsening epidemic of addiction.