Dr Phil Shelley Duvall interview controversy
Image courtesy of Dr. Phil via OWN

Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw broke his silence about the controversial interview with The Shining actress Shelley Duvall in 2016. The TV personality expressed that he has no regret about doing the interview and offered his opinion on the backlash surrounding it. The episode caused a stir among Dr. Phil’s viewers, who claimed he was exploiting Shelley Duvall’s mental illness. 

During the highly controversial interview, Shelley Duvall made distressing claims reflecting her mental illness state. The actress spoke about a ‘whirring disc’ inside her and how Robin Williams was still alive as a shapeshifter. She also claimed that the Sheriff of Nottingham from the Robin Hood books was ‘threatening’ her.

You can watch from an unofficial source (blogger Aractus) subject to potential takedown. The original interview has been taken off the air due to its controversy.

Dr. Phil’s recent comments on the 2016 interview

Addressing the backlash surrounding the interview, Dr. Phil recently spoke out in an interview with journalist Chris Wallace on CNN’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace.” He expressed that he did not regret the interview but regretted how it was promoted.

Dr. Phil claimed that people who were criticizing him did not do anything for Shelley Duvall while he made extensive efforts to help her with her family for over a year. He claims to have provided opportunities for both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care.

A spokesperson for Dr. Phil’s show stated that the goal of the interview was to document Shelley Duvall’s mental illness. This would create more awareness and resources while eliminating the stigma around it. 

The backlash surrounding Shelley Duvall’s interview

The Shining director Stanley Kubrick’s daughter, Vivian Kubrick, was one of the first to criticize how Dr. Phil’s interview with Shelley Duvall was handled. She released a statement at the time where she criticized the lack of compassionate healing in the interview. 

Ronan Farrow, the son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, called out Dr. Phil for exploiting her mental illness and portraying it as ‘powerful TV.’ Audiences felt Duvall’s vulnerability was not respected enough and treated sensitively on a national broadcast.

The 73-year-old actress admitted that she agreed to do the interview without understanding how Dr. Phil’s approach would be. Apparently, Dr. Phil had tried to contact her multiple times after the interview, even reaching out to her mother. However, they declined his requests. 

What are Shelley Duvall and Dr. Phil doing now?

Shelley Duvall retired from the entertainment industry in 2002, but she is now making a comeback to the big screen with the horror film, The Forest Hills. It is ironic, considering her return is set in the same year Dr. Phil ends his long-running talk show.

Dr. Phil Shelley Duvall interview controversy
Image courtesy of Dr. Phil

The 2016 interview remains a controversial topic on the internet, with most people taking the actress’ side. Dr. Phil’s recent comments face the same gravity of negative feedback as the original interview on social media.

Her return to work and acting has received positive appreciation from her fans and well-wishers. Shelley Duvall’s resurgent mental health journey proves that it’s never too late to make things right.

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