Dr Phil is under fire after current and former employees exposed the daytime talk show’s toxic work environment in a report by BuzzFeed News. Now the host’s attorney, Patrick Morris, is speaking out against the allegations, saying the charges are nothing more than a “clickbait story”.
“It’s a clickbait story, because as everyone knows, Dr Phil sells tickets. BuzzFeed was offered dozens of current and former staff members to talk to, but when BuzzFeed started hearing the truth, which ruined their salacious narrative, they declined,” Morris said. Variety. “Dr Phil focuses on program content and does not engage in staff relations, but program staff do not use ethnicity as depicted in any way.
Employees say they suffered verbal abuse on set, calling the workplace ‘promoting fear, bullying and racism’. Some even said that vulnerable guests were “manipulated and treated unethically” for the sake of good television.
“Everyone was just pretty miserable. You would walk into the building and there was just palpable fear and anxiety,” a former employee told BuzzFeed. “Dr Phil – the mental health show where everyone who works there has terrible mental health because our working conditions were really bad.
A spokesperson for the show responded to the story, saying: Buzzfeed’s “click bait story” containing verifiable and objectively false characterizations and reports of publicly available conflicting results of these legal cases [including dismissal with prejudice due to a lack of merit, not even being a party and other factual errors] raises significant doubts about the credibility of other unsubstantiated anonymous claims about the show and its staff, which are not true.
“Buzzfeed has received dozens and dozens of attributed fact reports, from current and past staff. Verifiable data contradicting the entire premise of their “anonymously attributed” article, sensationalized and baseless,” the statement continued. Dr. Phil McGraw himself has yet to respond to the accusations.
Check out the full report from Buzzfeed News here.
Dr PhilDays of the week, CBS