Dr. Phil’s Lawyer Responds to Toxic Workplace Accusations: ‘It Is a Clickbait Story’

    Dr. Phil is coming under fire after current and former employees called out the daytime talk show’s toxic workplace environment in a report from BuzzFeed News. Now, the host’s lawyer Patrick Morris is speaking out against the claims, stating the accusations are nothing more than a “clickbait story.”

    “It is a clickbait story, because as everyone knows, Dr. Phil sells tickets. BuzzFeed was offered dozens of current and former staff members to talk to but when BuzzFeed started hearing the truth, which ruined their salacious narrative, they declined,” Morris tells Variety. “Dr. Phil focuses on content for the program and doesn’t get involved in staff relations, but the staff at the program in no way uses ethnic origin such as described.”

    The employees allege that they experienced verbal abuse on set, calling the workplace one that “fosters fear, intimidation, and racism.” Some even stated that vulnerable guests were “manipulated and treated unethically” for the sake of good TV.

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

    A spokesperson for the show responded to the story, saying, “Buzzfeed’s ‘click-bait story’ containing verifiably and objectively false characterizations and reporting of the 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.

    “Buzzfeed has been provided with dozens and dozens of attributed statements of fact, from current and past staff. Verifiable data contradicting the entire premise of their ‘anonymously attributed,’ sensationalized and baseless article,” the statement continued. Dr. Phil McGraw himself has yet to respond to the accusations.

    Check out the full Buzzfeed News report here.

    Dr. Phil, Weekdays, CBS

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