Activist Files Complaint Against 'Dr. Phil'
LOS ANGELES – A mental health activist has filed a complaint about "Dr. Phil" (search) with the Federal Communications Commission, alleging the show fails to air an adequate viewer disclaimer.
A statement advising viewers that psychologist Phil McGraw's advice show is intended as entertainment and not counseling should be shown before each episode, Neal David Sutz (search) said in his FCC complaint.
Sutz, of Mesa, Ariz., said the brief disclaimer at the end of the show, which was added after he publicly criticized the lack of an on-screen advisory, was not enough.
"Isn't the purpose of disclaimers to warn individuals, from children to grandparents, of the content of a proceeding program so that they can make an informed decision on whether or not they wish to watch?" he asked the FCC in a May 12 letter.
The disclaimer reads: "Opinions expressed during the show are educational and informational in nature and are directed only at the individual show guests based on their specific and unique circumstances.
"The material provides general educational information only to the viewing audience. For advice appropriate to your specific situation, please consult a local health care professional," the disclaimer states.
Paramount Domestic Television, which produces the syndicated series, declined comment Tuesday. Previously, a studio executive said McGraw always has been explicit about his show's intent.
"Phil has said on the air many, many times that we are not doing therapy here," said Terry Wood, executive vice president of programming for Paramount Domestic Television.