Dr. Phil has been in hot water following allegations that the show gave drugs and alcohol to addicts who were guests on the show. Representatives for the show are continuing to deny claims that they have done so.
STAT and the Boston Globe published their findings from their joint investigation on Thursday. The report details multiple accusations that the popular American tabloid talk show's staffers recklessly aided their guest's addictions by providing drugs and alcohol so as to make the show more dramatic.
Back in 2013, Todd Herzog, who was dealing with alcoholism, claims he found Smirnoff Vodka upon arrival to his dressing room. Herzog, who was previously a winner on the reality show Survivor, also alleges that he was given Xanax. "You know, I get that it's a television show and that they want to show the pain that I'm in," Herzog, who went on air seemingly intoxicated, said in the report. "However, what would have happened if I died there? You know, that's horrifying."
Martin Greenberg, a psychologist who works on the show as director of professional affairs, previously denied the allegations. "Addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting, and trivializing," Greenberg was quoted as saying in the report. "But, if they are at risk when they arrive, then they were at risk before they arrived. The only change is they are one step closer to getting help, typically help they could not have even come close to affording."
In a new statement given to E! on Friday, representatives for the show said, "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," the statement continued. "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."