Dr. Phil's past guest, Danielle Bregoli, created headlines for both him and her. According to their episode's title, she was the "car-stealing, knife-wielding, twerking 13-year-old daughter" who gave her mother trouble.
When the pair met Dr. Phil, the taping took an unexpected turn. Danielle Bregoli threatened the reality therapist with six simple words. She says, "Catch me outside, how bout dat?" Everybody went crazy; even Dr. Phil was stunned. Even though he sent her away to an expensive rehabilitation center, she came back on the show to talk about not just her progress, but her newfound fame and fortune.
With millions of Instagram followers and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, the teenager made a name for herself. Have other teens tried to follow in the star's success?
Since Danielle Bregoli's two appearances, Dr. Phil had invited other troubled teens to his show. Madison was a fifteen-year-old, "car stealing, drug taking, dad beating" student.
Her story mirrored Danielle Bregoli's own criminal charges and drug use, but unlike the Internet sensation, Madison left the stage as another guest, and not a star.
Was Dr. Phil trying to help the teenagers, or was he exploiting them for views?
If his interviewees aren't big names like David Cassidy or Todd Herzog, his eye-catching titles like "I Hate my Pathological, Alcoholic, Felon Mom" and "Backstage Drama: More with the Guest Claiming She Was Pregnant with Baby Jesus" were shocking enough to work.
News outlets questioned the millionaire's motives. Years ago, the mogul welcomed Ty Beeson to his show. The man was responsible for Bumfights, a series about homeless men fighting each other.
Dr. Phil showed one taping on national television, which gave both the creator and the series clout, and the host then degraded Ty Beeson for his exploitative mentality.
While Dr. Phil never encouraged his guests to engage in deplorable behavior, he also made money by cashing in on the mentally ill, people in poverty, and addicts.
Like Dr. Phil tells Ty Beeson, "That's despicable. You can go!"