DR PHIL IS A FRAUD

Published on: October 10, 2003

The 'Dr. Phil' show is a fraud!"

That's the shocking revelation of two former guests, who say the show's producers paid a stranger to insult them on-camera and arranged for a photographer to do the same.

"They saw firsthand what a fraud Dr. Phil's show is, and they want the whole world to know about it," a source close to the women told The ENQUIRER.

Maryanne Bodolay, 400-pound executive adminis- trator of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), and Sally E. Smith, 374-pound editor-in-chief of Big Beautiful Woman magazine, went on Dr. Phil McGraw's show last November.

The ladies said that after years of worshiping Dr. Phil's work, they were thrilled to be invited onto his program to discuss discrimination against overweight people. They said they thought they would be treated with respect.

But before they could appear on the show, producers sent them on an "undercover" mission to Las Vegas, they said. A hidden camera followed them around in the hopes that strangers would make fun of them in public because of their weight.

But "the whole thing -- as Dr. Phil would say -- drove off into the ditch," Sally wrote in an article about her experience.

No one insulted the women, they said, until program staffers arranged it.

"The producers were convinced they would get what they needed," Sally wrote. "Well, they eventually did, but they had to actually pay one man to make a rude comment and convince the poor, horrified camera operator to expedite the shoot and say something mean to us."

The crew then moved the women to Los Angeles and sat them in a restaurant next to two diners known to dislike fat people, hoping the strangers would say something nasty.

"It didn't happen," Sally said.

When the show aired in November, viewers saw Maryanne and Sally visiting a mall, a fitness center and a buffet restaurant. Hidden-camera footage showed onlookers snickering -- supposedly at the overweight ladies. At different times in the restaurant, one man asked, "Is that fat-free ice cream?" and another told the women, "Leave some (food) for somebody else."

But it was all a scam designed to fool Dr. Phil's viewers, the ladies say.

Sally said she and her friend Maryanne had been loyal fans of Dr. Phil from his days on "Oprah."

"When one of us called the other with a problem, our immediate response would be, 'What would Dr. Phil say?' " Sally recalled.

The women told a pal they appeared on the show hoping to change the self-help guru's philosophy that being fat is a psychological flaw that can be overcome through willpower.

But once on the show, "the rose-colored glasses through which we'd seen Dr. Phil shattered," Sally claimed.

Maryanne and Sally were never identified by their last names on-camera, and viewers were never told of their credentials as advocates for the obese. Instead of having a serious discussion with two experts, Dr. Phil labeled the women militants and made fun of them at every turn, they said.

To add insult to injury, producers telephoned the furious women weeks after the show aired and asked them to make a return appearance because the first show had gotten such huge ratings.

"When Maryanne was first approached to be a guest on 'Dr. Phil,' producers led her to believe she would be treated as an equal," a friend of the NAAFA administrator told The ENQUIRER.

"They assured her it would be a friendly forum where she could express her ideas without being dragged over the coals. So Maryanne and Sally went on 'Dr. Phil' with an uplifting message for people everywhere, especially fat people who are constantly tortured by the way they look."

But instead of treating the women with respect, Dr. Phil portrayed them as victims, the friend said.

"The only thing they're victims of is Dr. Phil's cruel ambush," the source said.

Dr. Phil did not respond to The ENQUIRER's request for comment.