Dr. Phil ‘drunk girl’ sex tweet sparks outrage

The controversial tweet, via @DrPhil/Twitter
The controversial tweet posted on the Twitter account @DrPhil.

Celebrity psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw is enduring tremendous backlash for a tweet he posted, then quickly deleted, Tuesday that asked his 1.1 million followers to give a “yes” or “no” response on a question that, to many, suggested rape. 

The tweet, posted at 5:49 p.m. on Tuesday, asked: “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused.”

In typical Twitter fashion, hundreds of offended tweeters flung angry responses and jokes at McGraw. Now, a petition on Change.org with nearly 1,400 signatures demands an apology from McGraw as well as a show dedicated to rape awareness.

“As a former college sexual assault activist who taught about rape and consent, and friend to many survivors, I am shocked and appalled by this question,” wrote Carmen Rios, the petition’s creator. “There is no question, Dr Phil: Rape is rape.”

The petition demands McGraw produce a show that “shines a light on survivors of rape and sexual assault and begin a national conversation about the specifics of consent – which includes not raping people while they are drunk or otherwise unable to consent.”

A rep for McGraw released a statement defending, explaining and apologizing for the “ill-advised” tweet:

“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 — cannot 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.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…