The long-running daytime talk show “Dr. Phil” conducted a round of layoffs ahead of its upcoming season this fall, a spokesperson for the show confirmed on Friday.

The cost-cutting move affected about 25 workers, most of which worked in production roles for the talk show, the “Dr. Phil” spokesperson said, adding the show had “streamlined production to ensure longevity.”

“As is typical of this process there were some roles we discovered that we could reduce yet still deliver our dynamic, forward-thinking program,” the spokesperson said in a statement to The Post.

Variety was first to report on the layoffs.

The pink slips were dispersed months after allegations of a toxic workplace environment rocked “Dr. Phil,” the show named for its eponymous host, Dr. Phil McGraw.

A report from Buzzfeed News detailed allegations from a dozen current and former employees who said they “experienced verbal abuse in a workplace that fosters fear, intimidation, and racism” while on set. Seven of the workers who spoke to the outlet also said that guests appearing on the show are “manipulated and treated unethically.”

Dr. Phil
The layoffs mostly targeted staffers working in production on the show.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

“Everyone was just pretty miserable. You would walk into the building and there was just a palpable dread and anxiety,” one former employee told the outlet at the time. “Dr. Phil — the show about mental health where everybody who works on it has terrible mental health because our work conditions were really bad.”

Another ex-worker said the show’s summer hiatus was their only reprieve and that they “would have nightmares” about the job.

“I would literally be working in my sleep and have nightmares about something being wrong or not turning in something the right way,” the former employee said. “Even when I quit, I had to go to therapy for it, which is crazy because you’re working for a therapist.”

Dr. Phil
About 25 workers were impacted by the layoffs.
Getty Images

McGraw was not personally implicated in any wrongdoing on set. Instead, the staffers said the show’s top producers were responsible for the toxic culture.

A spokesperson for “Dr. Phil” denied the allegations in Buzzfeed’s report, referring to them as a “click-bait story” containing “verifiably and objectively false characterizations and reporting.”

“Dr. Phil” will debut its 21st season in September on CBS. The show is currently set to air through at least May 2023.


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Tyler Cowan