Dr. Phil is trash – even by the standards of daytime television.
We’ve discussed this in detail quite a few times. And we’re not the only ones.
But he’s an extra-special type of trash when he’s trying to navigate the world of race relations.
By now, we’re all well aware that Dr. Phil came under fire when he went on Fox News and claimed that the country was “over-reacting” to the pandemic. He then drew an analogy between the virus and non-communicable causes of death, like car accidents. And when confronted, he merely said the equivalent of “I’m sorry you’re offended.”
His remarks triggered an entirely justified backlash, but his comments were even more sinister than most of his critics realized.
Never mind the fact that he quoted inaccurate statistics and made a false equivalency: his clumsy analogies take on special rancor when you realize that the disease disproportionately affects black communities .
One is left to wonder if the good “doctor” would be saying we’re over-reacting if the virus disproportionately affected white people.
Then there was the way he handled the tragic Ahmaud Arbery murder.
Dr. Phil opined that he didn’t feel Arbery’s body language was “aggressive” before he was shot and killed.
Yet throughout this recent hour-long episode, the Doc failed to acknowledge that the murder was illegal and unjust in the first place — let alone that the punishment for jogging in a neighborhood should never be murder.
And of course, let’s not forget the disaster that is Bhad Bhabie, who owes her entire morally bankrupt career to a platform granted to her by Dr. Phil.
In the face of civil unrest surrounding the George Floyd murder, Dr. Phil posted a tweet claiming to stand with the black community, and emphasizing that “black lives matter.”
And for this, he deserves credit.
But once again, it’s a case of Dr. Phil doing the absolute least and engaging in performative concern.
He made the statement to dominate the conversation, not to amplify black voices. And it’s time we stop amplifying pseudoscience charlatans and start giving the microphone to voices that matter.