Dr. Phil shot to fame in the late 1990s after appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In September 2002, Oprah Winfrey assisted McGraw in the launch of his own show, Dr. Phil. Yes, Dr. Phil has been on the air for twenty freaking years now.

Recently, Phil’s show received some fire. ViacomCBS has now responded to the allegations levelled against the popular show.

A Buzzfeed exposé, featuring anonymous current and former employees of Phil McGraw’s talk show, Dr. Phil received allegations of toxic work conditions, including verbal abuse, intimidation, and racism, as well as inappropriate interactions with guests.

There is no evidence that McGraw participated in any of the alleged behavior, nor is there any evidence that he saw any of the abuse himself, according to the dozen employees who spoke to the outlet. Carla Penington, the series’ executive producer, and other senior staff have been accused of “screaming and berating” employees. All allegations were denied by a spokesperson for Dr.Phil and McGraw.

Deadline received a reply from the network. It was said that “Buzzfeed’s ‘clickbait story,’ contains verifiably and objectively false characterizations and reporting of publicly available contradictory 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 the other unsubstantiated, anonymous claims relating to the show and its staff, which are not true.”

“Dr. Phil and our hard-working, diverse team of more than 200 proud staff, many of whom have been here for two decades, have sincerely and respectfully worked with thousands of appreciative guests. From the beginning, show executives have strived to create a collaborative, safe, and open environment for Dr. Phil McGraw and all staff and guests. We are grateful for the overwhelming number of proud, dedicated colleagues who have helped achieve our sustained success through 20 seasons of the program with many more to come.”

Seven of the employees said they were “encouraged to perpetuate racist stereotypes onscreen,” and two others said they were subjected to racism behind the scenes. According to the Buzzfeed report, there are also allegations from a former employee that they were instructed to tamper with a guest’s prescribed medication before cameras began “because they wanted her to look unstable and quote-unquote, ‘crazy,’ for lack of a better term.”

A spokesperson for ViacomCBS issued a statement as well.

“Creating safe and inclusive working environments is a top priority at ViacomCBS. We provide multiple avenues through which employees can report complaints to the company both on the record and anonymously. We encourage any employee who believes that they or others within the company have been treated unfairly to report it without a fear of retaliation. We take seriously all such reports.”

In a statement to Buzzfeed, Penington’s attorneys also denied the allegations. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.

What’s your opinion on this one? Let us know in the comments!

Shivangini Rawat

Shivangini is a law student with a passion for writing and music. She writes for Thirstyfornews and enjoys cooking, baking, and playing various instruments. In her free time, she watches movies, TV shows, and anime, with a love for bands like Alcest and Scorpions.

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