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Angela Gaggero's My Dr. Phil Nightmare


"If I were Shakeel, I'd be finding me a good lawyer..."

I always wondered why I don't see disabled people in television audiences. I had no idea that we were being purposely excluded. I wrote Dr. Phil after reading the article, "My Dr. Phil Nightmare." I bet his show is the tip of the iceberg.

Laura Hague, Luling, TX

I am paraplegic. I have noticed many times that there seem to be no disabled people in any live audience television productions. What a joke! Of course -- we are hidden! I guess we don't make good camera shots. Just won't be the perfect audience if we are in the shot. Seating at most events for us is usually in the nose-bleed section --they can give you a hundred reasons for it. High-profile events are the worst. There you are, enjoying ( at a great distance ) a game or concert, and some jerk stands in front of you. So much for seeing anything. The worst thing of all is that they believe they are doing us a favor by making a few minor adaptations so we may attend. What a joke.

Don Zentner, Trail, British Columbia (CANADA)

I think it is a societal attitude. Many a time when I have been out with friends and opt to park next to them. so that we can walk into a restaurant together, someone will point or comment on the handicapped parking and tell me I belong there.

We all have a story to tell.

Denise Maples, Louisville KY

I, too have enjoyed the Dr. Phil Show but I vow not to watch it again until I hear that he has put people with disabilities, no matter their disabilities in the midst of the regular audience in prime seating. If they get there early enough to get first choice they should have first choice.

Why does every body have to be educated one by one. Dr Phil is surely intelligent enough to know about the ADA and about discrimination.

Let's as a community get our friends and neighbors to boycott him until he stands in front of the world and apologizes to all his past guests and to the disability community at large for being part of such backward policies.

Janet C. White, Waterbury Center, VT

I am appalled but not surprised. I had not heard of Dr. Phil until 2 weeks before the weight challenge started. When the participants were selected, we made a bet that he would only pick people who would make him look good when the weight was lost. There was no one handicapped or over 60 years old. Being that I am in a wheelchair, I could not identify with any of the people he picked. I wrote him an email saying that i thought it was prejudicial to not pick from a more broad area of society; I received no answer. Surprised?

When I joined his web page and filed out my bio I received a reply within minutes asking if I would like to be a guest onthe show. I responded that I would only if other people of the group to which I belong are also there.

Much in his book is also unrealistic for someone handicapped. I choose to be independent and am working toward that. My brain cells did not cease to function when my legs did. He is totally ignorrng a large section of the population.

Have we gotten his attention? Time will tell.

Mary Cady, Chandler, AZ

If I were Shakeel, I would be finding me a good lawyer and suing for the humiliation and the mistreatment. Dr. Phil probably has nothing to do with it personally, but his weight is mighty and I I think he should know how the people feel about this treatment and that he should demand immediate changes.

Doris Johnson, Charleston, SC

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