Dr. Phil McGraw came under fire Wednesday after a post on his verified Twitter account asked if it’s OK to have sex with a drunk girl.
Reaction to the tweet was swift:
From @spsook: “If a doctor doesn’t understand consent, has he abdicated his medical authority?” reply y/n to @DrPhil #teensaccused
From @leslieupnorth: “@DrPhil deleted his #rapeculture tweet…it’s too bad he didn’t realize how wrong he was until after 1000s read it. Shame him,” @Oprah
A representative for the “Dr. Phil” show issued a statement regarding the now deleted tweet.
It stated that the comment was designed to provoke discussion for an upcoming show.
“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 statement read. “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 can not 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.”
A petition on Change.org asked Dr. Phil to “publicly announce that he will produce and air a show that centers on survivors’ voices and educates the public about the true definition of rape and sexual assault, as well as how to prevent it.”
So far, the petition has received more than 1,100 signatures.
CNN contributed to this report.