Dr. Phil McGraw is mostly known for his inoffensive, vaguely self-help-driven lectures on his pop-psychology show “Dr. Phil,” but on Tuesday, the television host came under fire online after posting a tweet that seemed to support sexual assault.
“If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @DrPhil #teensaccused,” Dr. Phil tweeted out to his million-plus followers on Monday night. Legally, of course, drunk people are not capable of consenting to sex, making such an encounter rape. The post exploded on Twitter and immediately drew backlash for giving a voice to supporters of sexual assault and generally misunderstanding the concept of consent.
Not long after, Dr. Phil deleted the offending tweet, but it lived on in screengrabs and the hundreds of retweets and responses it received.
â€” rob delaney (@robdelaney) August 20, 2013
Dear whoever is at that bar with @DrPhil right now: Run. And don't look back.
â€” Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) August 20, 2013
Basically @DrPhil or their publicist thinks that muddying the waters on what counts as rape is a good way to drive up audience participation
â€” Daniel Greene (@Greene_DM) August 20, 2013
â€” Andy Levy (@andylevy) August 20, 2013
â€” Robyn Pennacchia (@RobynElyse) August 20, 2013
"@DrPhil If a girl is drunk is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no." Why are you looking for a greenlight to rape from twitter?
â€” Settler Colonial (@SettlerColonial) August 20, 2013
@DrPhil If a man has a terrible mustache, is it okay to murder him? Yes or no.
â€” Ricky McBreen (@RichardLMcBreen) August 20, 2013
See more responses to Dr. Phil’s tweet on Storify.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.