Through the 70s and 80s Shelley Duvall was a star.
The actress was known for her small frame and quirky looks, and her memorable appearance in dozens of films that ranged from “The Shining” to “Popeye.”
But these days, the actress, now 67, is living in almost complete isolation.
She is riddled with health problems and struggling with severe mental illness.
So when “The Dr. Phil Show” paid the Houston native a visit to Blanco, Texas where she lives now, it was under the pretense of getting her help.
But a preview clip of the interview released Wednesday has a lot of people angry -and accusing Dr. Phil of exploitation.
In the clip, Duvall is disheveled and barely recognizable as herself.
She’s clearly struggling from multiple physical ailments, including large weight gain, mysterious lesions on her legs, and a hunched over slouch.
In addition to that, though, the short clip reveals quickly that Duvall is indeed suffering from severe mental illness.
She speaks almost nonsensically about wild and paranoid delusions.
She describes a hornet that latched onto her spinal cord, a mysterious and evil man who hurts her constantly (who she refers to as “The Sheriff of Nottingham”), and audio devices implanted in her body—just to name a few.
She even claims that “Popeye” co-star Robin Williams isn’t dead, but has been “shapeshifting”— and she’s seen him.
It’s a disturbing and sad interview that had a lot of people feeling uneasy about Dr. Phil’s intentions.
Director Stanley Kubrick’s daughter, Vivian Kubrick, posted a letter to Twitter directed at the show, blasting Dr. Phil for the “lurid” exploitation of Duvall’s sad condition:
— Vivian Kubrick (@ViKu1111) November 17, 2016
Kubrick was soon joined by a chorus of Twitter users who felt the same:
— ROB FLIP (@ROBFLIP71) November 18, 2016
— Panel F Media® (@panelfmedia) November 18, 2016
Shelly Duvall deserves way, way more than being put on parade by Dr. Phil.
— PushingUpRoses (@PushinUpRoses) November 18, 2016
You should be ashamed of yourself for exploiting Shelley Duvall. She's obviously ill and needs real help. @DrPhil
— Michelle (@shelly_bee76) November 18, 2016
Another celebrity, Ronan Farrow (son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen), called for a total boycott of Dr. Phil
He described the interview as “shameful”:
Don't support the exploitation of vulnerable people. Don't watch Dr Phil.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) November 17, 2016
Despite there being an increase in the amount of celebrities speaking up publicly about their mental illness, the harrowing interviews is difficult to watch.
Neither Phil McGraw nor any of his representatives made themselves available for comment.
The episode aired last Friday afternoon.