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A Bunch Of Dr. Phil Staffers Have Come Forward Accusing The Show Of Creating A "Traumatizing War Zone Like Environment" For Its Employees

Source - Source -  Can “Dr. Phil” fix his own reportedly broken work family? About a dozen current and former employees of the “Dr. Phil” show have shared allegations with BuzzFeed News that cast a dark shadow on the long-running advice program.

In the CBS daytime show’s 20 years on air, psychologist McGraw has gained a reputation for his affable, no-nonsense advice and so-called “Phil-isms” — as one goes, “We teach people how to treat us” — that he doles out to guests and their families on the brink of crisis.

“Everyone was just pretty miserable. You would walk into the building and there was just a palpable dread and anxiety,” one ex-employee told the site. “’Dr. Phil’ — the show about mental health where everybody who works on it has terrible mental health because our work conditions were really bad.”

The irony of the new explosive claims — that a show whose mission it is to advocate for mental health hygiene couldn’t keep its own set happy — isn’t lost on the accusers.

“I would have nightmares,” a former employee told BuzzFeed, choosing to remain anonymous for fear of backlash. “Even when I quit, I had to go to therapy for it, which is crazy because you’re working for a therapist.” It’s also long been noted that McGraw, 71, holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, not a medical degree, and is also not licensed to practice.

This just in: working in TV sucks. Everyone is miserable, everyone is mean, and unless you're an executive producer - the pay is shit. There's an undertone of bitterness because despite what anyone says, people behind the camera want to be in front of it. That's a fact. I can't tell you how many UCB losers I worked with over the years who genuinely hated their life because they thought they were better than the people they were getting coffee for. Most of them were talentless and none of them were funny. They had a palpable "safe space" theater kid vibe to them that was embarrassing to be around. TL/DR - they were soft, which is why I'm skeptical anytime I hear someone in the television industry complain about work conditions. That said, here are the accusations...

Though McGraw himself was not directly implicated in any of the anecdotes heard by BuzzFeed, accusers suggested he must be privy to the alleged bad behavior of executive producer Carla Pennington. The Emmy-winning producer is being accused of, among other things, outbursts at lower-level employees — allegedly calling them “idiots,” “stupid” and “retards.”

Some workers, however, described it as a “war zone.”

“It was traumatizing,” a former employee said. “There was full-blown yelling, calling people idiots and slamming doors, and it would not be acceptable in any other job in any other business. Then, after, everybody’s upset and everybody’s crying.”

One current worker added: “I’ve worked jobs where people get angry, but this is a whole other level of just strange, neurotic behavior, and it’s just unceasing, it’s just constant. There is no relief.”

Reporting bad behavior was pointless, according to some “Dr. Phil” accusers.

“If you complain to HR, you might as well expect to be fired,” one former employee told BuzzFeed. “They will do anything and everything they can to keep anything under wraps.”

Okay, some yelling and some r-words. Rude? Yes. Antiquated? Absolute. Unheard of? Not at all. When you're working in a high stress environment people lose their cool. That doesn't make it right, but it happens. But that's not the worst part. Staffers were allegedly required to withhold medication from guests so that they appeared "crazy" on stage...

Alleged abuse has extended beyond staff and on to guests, some of whom have since accused the show of encouraging them to drink or take drugs before their appearance in an effort to “manipulate mentally vulnerable people,” said one former staffer, all in the interest of must-see TV with an audience of millions.

“We were specifically instructed, ‘Make sure that she doesn’t take her medication before she goes onstage,’ because they wanted her to look unstable and quote-unquote, ‘crazy,’ for lack of a better term,” one employee recalled. “She did take the medication because no one got there in time and I remember thinking, ‘My God, I don’t want to be the one to tell them or dissuade them from that.’ And that’s all for the sake of TV. Obviously this girl should be on her medication and that’s what we’re trying to get her help for, but for the sake of TV they wanted her to look off the rails.”

Part of me loves this because it's next level producing, but if it's true someone's going down. I mean withholding medication? That reads like something out of the Jamie Spears playbook. It's also important to note that Dr. Phil's attorneys have categorically denied any wrongdoing, just like they did in back in 2002 the first time he was accused of abusing employees…

This isn’t the first time the public has heard such tales coming from “Dr. Phil,” which premiered in 2002 and is now in its 21st season. In 2016, a lawsuit — later dropped — alleged that McGraw locked a group of staffers in a room for an unmitigated tirade over supposedly leaked information about the show.

Are the allegations true? Who knows. Who cares, honestly. I'm not going to jump to conclusions because I like Dr. Phil. That and because in this country, despite what the media says, you're innocent until proven guilty. Now here are some of Phil's most savage moments. Enjoy…