A move by Dr. Phil McGraw’s show in advance of an episode on drinking and teen sex landed the talk show host in the middle of a controversy, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In an apparent attempt to provoke discussion on the topic, the "Dr. Phil" show reportedly sent out a tweet asking: "If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused." The tweet has since been deleted.
"Twitter users responded, all right. But instead of answering yes or no, as Dr. Phil’s show hoped, they expressed anger at the host for suggesting that it might be OK to have sex with someone without consent," the story reports.
A rep for the "Dr. Phil" show released a statement today saying: "This Tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic based upon a recent news story, hence the #teensaccused label. It was a poll question, not a statement or a joke. As he has maintained over many years, Dr. Phil believes that the position of those incapacitated in any fashion, be it drugs, alcohol, age or mental illness, can not and do not have the capacity to give their consent to anything, especially sex, which could have life-changing repercussions. This was a research post in preparation for a show, not a personal post, and Dr. Phil deleted it the second he saw it. It was clearly ill-advised. 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."
The Times report adds: "A petition on Change.org, launched by sexual assault activist Carmen Rios, has asked that Dr. Phil ‘publicly announce that he will produce and air a show that centers on survivors’ voices and educates the public about the true definition of rape and sexual assault, as well as how to prevent it.’"