He might be famous for providing hillbillies and fans of the Oprah Show with pearls of wisdom and words of advice about dealing with trouble in sexual and family relationships, but Dr Phil didn’t seem so wise when he tweeted the following on the 20th of August, 2013: ‘If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil’. As is to be expected, the tweet attracted both criticism (since it seemingly ‘made light’ of the issue of date rape) and amusing rejoinders.
Poor Dr Phil – since posting the question (which he intended as a poll for an upcoming show), he was lambasted in all kinds of creative ways. For example, one tweeter said ‘If a fake therapist is a complete dickhole, is it okay to berate him on social media? Reply y/n to @DrPhil’. Other Twitter users made fun in their own way, with replies such as ‘only if I’m the drunk girl #DrunkMasturbationRocks’.
Twitter is an endless source of hilarity when it comes to celebrity bungles and hasty backtracking. There was Alec Baldwin’s tirade against a Mail Online reporter who said that Baldwin’s wife tweeted throughout US TV star James Gandolfini’s funeral. The Celebrity Twitter Feud is always a Twitter staple and an entertaining spectacle, the latest being between Lady Gaga and gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
While the likes of Dr Phil need to be schooled on using Twitter smartly, some famous people are brilliant at using Twitter effectively for their PR. Take Australian singer Sia – after it was rumoured that she was dating Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame, the singer cleared up the rumours concisely: ‘As much as I love dick, I’m not dating robert pattinson. Can I go back to being completely irrelevant now?’
Perhaps Dr Phil should find other ways to poll people on what they think about social issues. Twitter has its fair share of trolls. The question is relevant given the high incidence of sexual exploitation, but it could have been posed in a less ambiguous (and seemingly condoning) way.
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