A controversial tweet by Dr. Phil, in which the famed television personality asked “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil,” was simply meant to “evoke discussion” for an upcoming episode, a show rep told Celebuzz on Thursday.
“This Tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic based upon a recent news story, hence the #teensaccused label,” the rep said. “It was a poll question, not a statement or a joke.”
The rep continued:
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.
Published on Tuesday, the tweet initially sparked outrage on Twitter and subsequent Internet sites. It was later taken down — though not before multiple users were able to screenshot an image.
Meanwhile, Deadline reported Wednesday that the episode related to the tweet was still moving forward as planned.