If you were among those hoping that the appalling public display of a clearly ill Shelley Duvall today for a Dr. Phil November sweep broadcast would at least have ended in his getting her into the treatment facility where, he claimed, the best specialists would treat her physical and mental illnesses, you were disappointed.
“After three days at the treatment center, Shelley still refused to take any medications and she would not sign the paperwork required to treat her,” host Dr Phil McGraw said after one hour of Duvall rambling, periodically appearing agitated and disoriented, while the cameras caught it for TV.
“She was accompanied by trained professionals and was safely returned to her family and boyfriend at home” McGraw said. “We are happy to report that we are now working directly with Shelley’s mother and are providing Shelley treatment from a group of local professionals who, due to her refusal to take medication, will use alternative methods to treat her.”
Then McGraw gave “special thanks” to the doctor and facility that are NOT treating Duvall, as flashed on the screen the words:
“Promotional Consideration provided by” followed by the name of that clinic.
“We will keep you updated on her progress and hope, hope, hope that there is a happy ending to this story,” he said, though here’s a guess the melodramatic three “hopes” signals he does not anticipate such an ending.
Earlier this week, the show began running a promo for today’s broadcast, in which Duvall is seen saying to the camera, “I am very sick. I need help.”
In coverage by various news outlets of the promo, and the start of industry outrage, some reporters called it Duvall’s “first interview” in years. This is being far too generous to the show, and probably inaccurate, given the actress’ mental state throughout. Several of the reports also cited some of the more “bizarre” things she is heard saying while the camera is trained on her, which is barely less exploitative than was the broadcast. Some of the reports even included video of the promo, which ends the distinction between the show and the coverage.
Duvall is maybe best known for starring roles in The Shining, Annie Hall, Popeye, Roxanne, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, etc.
Here is some of the industry reaction in the walk-up to the broadcast and since; the list is growing. Unfortunately, some of these tweets include links to press reports that includes both Duvall “quotes,” and to video from the broadcast.
Deadline’s Greg Evans contributed to this report.