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August 24, 2011 permalink
After Russian twins found their forever home with Alaskan Jessica Beagley, she tormented one of them with hot sauce and cold showers. Watch her in action in video from the Dr Phil show (mp4). She has just been convicted of child abuse.
The 'Dr. Phil' Show Contributed to Child Abuse
The Dr. Phil show urged a mom into extreme punishment to get on the show.
Jessica Beagley had been dealing with an adopted son who had emotional and psychological problems. In her attempts to get help for him and her family, she wrote to the Dr. Phil show.
The producers were in contact with her and required video of her interacting with her son. But just yelling wasn't enough for them, they needed to see her punish him. At their urging, she had her daughter tape a segment where she was putting hot sauce into her child's mouth. But that wasn't all. Then she put her son into a cold shower, his screams enough to drive any mother to tears. All this for acting up in school and then lying about it. Because of that video, she was on the episode "Mommy Confessions" late last year. After the show aired, Alaskan authorities was understandably flooded with calls.
Beagley was sentenced yesterday for misdemeanor child abuse. She faces jail time, probation, and a $10,000 fine. While it's true that Beagley's abusive behavior might not have come out if not for the Dr. Phil show, they are also partly to blame for the horrendous actions of the mom. If not for their urging to see some "angry" punishment, the child might not have suffered as much as he did. The reality is, they urged the mom to do it and therefore contributed to it.
People reach out to Dr. Phil for many reasons. Some can't afford help, others don't know how to get help. The show has gone from respected to just another show looking for shock value.
This comes at a bad time for the show, who has been recently criticized for booking Casey Anthony's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, on the show. This begs the question, what won't the Dr. Phil show do for ratings? Will losing credibility hurt the show's viewership? Not only is it possible but it's likely.