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PopWrapped | Celebrities

Dr. Phil Lambasted For Exploiting Shelley Duvall's Mental Health

Rain Varela | PopWrapped Author

Rain Varela

Updated 12/10/2016 5:01pm
Dr. Phil Lambasted For Exploiting Shelley Duvall's Mental Health | Shelley Duvall
Media Courtesy of Ooyuz

Last month, top rated talk show Dr. Phil aired a controversial interview with actress Shelley Duvall.

Entitled "From Hollywood Star to Near Isolation", the episode has since been derided for putting the actress' apparent mental issues front and center as a form of exploitative entertainment by multiple sources.

Duvall rose to fame with roles in memorable movies like Annie Hall, The Shining, and most notably as Olive Oyl in Popeye. She had a long career that spanned from the 1970s up to her last film, 2002's Manna From Heaven.

She has since retired and is living in Blanco, Texas, where the interview took place. The actress has been seeking professional help for various mental issues, particularly certain recurring delusions. The show's cameras even followed her to the Creative Care Mental health treatment center in Malibu.

In describing his conversation with the actress, McGraw said in between segments that, “during our interview, Shelley was either avoiding all of the questions or was in and out of contact with reality.”

Vivian Kubrick, the daughter of acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick, slammed the episode on her Twitter account. She wrote: "Your exploitive use of Shelly Duvall is a form of LURID ENTERTAINMENT and is shameful". She even added a screen shot of an open letter which details her displeasure of the interview.

Kubrick also started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for Duvall's care. The page's header reads:

"Like many older movie stars, embarrassed finances is not uncommon. Showing your love and support for Shelley Duvall by making a donation can start her back on the road to independence and perhaps back to health and for her fans, more superb performances!"

Though Kubrick later had to cancel the fundraising initiative, due to concerns it would interfere with other medical benefits Duvall was receiving, it shone a spotlight on the treatment of mental illness as entertainment.

Another Hollywood scion who criticized the episode is journalist and former government adviser, Ronan Farrow. He urged his Twitter followers to watch the work of Ms. Duvall instead of paying attention to Dr. Phil.

The Dr. Phil show has not yet chosen to address the criticism of the interview.

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