UPDATE: After this story made headlines around the country, even drawing a Change.org petition in protest, a spokesperson for the “Dr. Phil” show apologized for the incident. “It was clearly ill-advised,” the rep told the New York Daily News. “We sincerely apologize that it suggested anything other than what was intended, data gathering. As you can imagine, Dr. Phil is very upset that this happened.”
McGraw’s camp said the controversial question posed on Twitter — “If a girl is drunk, is it okay to have sex with her? Reply yes or no” — was intended to start a conversation.
By Sara Morrison
Dr. Phil sparked a firestorm on Tuesday when his official account asked the Twittersphere: “If a girl is drunk, is it okay to have sex with her? Reply yes or no.”
But a spokesperson for “Dr. Phil” told TheWrap that the unfortunately-worded tweet did not reflect the family friendly TV therapist’s curiosity regarding what constitutes sexual assault, but was for an upcoming episode of his show.
“This Tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic,” the spokesperson said. “It was not intended to be taken lightly.”
Indeed, Dr. Phil’s Twitter timeline shows several tweets similar in nature — most recently, Dr. Phil asked if his followers had “experienced abuse by a stepparent? How was it resolved?”
There are also words of advice, such as: “I don’t want you to be victimized; I want you to be victim-wise.”
You won’t find the offending tweet anymore, however — it was deleted. Screenshots, of course, remain, but here was the Tweet:
“If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teenaccused.”