February 10, 2006 - NCSF releases an Action Alert regarding TV's "Dr. Phil" and his latest hour-long special, where polyfidelity issues are discussed - and "Dr. Phil" tells the couple, and the viewing audience, that polyfidelity is nothing but "cheating".
NCSF Action Alert
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom - Entertainment Media Update
February 10, 2006
Show Title: Dr. Phi
Episode Title: "Twisted Love"
Original airdate: February 2, 2006
Network: Syndicated - Paramount Domestic Television & KingWorld Productions
Produced by: Paramount Domestic Television, in association with Harpo
Productions and KingWorld Productions
From the show's website: "Charles says he has exhausted his relationship with his wife of 19 years, and he's ready to try an alternative lifestyle. Instead of getting a divorce, Charles wants to explore polyfidelity -- a relationship where he is shared between his wife and his mistress. The mistress says she'll give it a try, but his wife, Tracy, says the thought makes her sick. Can Charles convince his wife to share him for the sake of their marriage? And what does Dr. Phil think? Full description and more information at http://drphil.com/shows/show/665/
NCSF Reviewer's note:
Since the show's usual premise is to introduce somebody with a "problem" and seemingly work towards solutions, it's no surprise that the example of polyfidelity presented by Dr. Phil was one fraught with conflicts - and most would agree that polyamory would not be an advisable relationship structure to be taken on by this particular couple. Polyamory is not for everybody and it is certainly not something to be brought in to prop up a failing relationship. Unfortunately, rather than presenting this as one specific instance where polyamory might not be appropriate, Dr. Phil chose to scoff at its validity altogether: "I didn't just come in on a load of turnips. I look up everything that's out there. When I read 'polyfidelity' in the Dr. Phil dictionary, it says 'cheating'." All in all, the show should be critiqued for its dismissive stance towards polyamory and encouraged to understand that many people are able to enjoy healthy and supportive polyamorous relationships.
TO GIVE FEEDBACK ON THIS EPISODE TO THE SHOW'S PRODUCERS, WRITE:
Dr. Phil Show
5482 Wilshire Boulevard #1902
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(While hard copy letters are generally more effective, you can also send a direct email to the show via their website, http://www.drphil.com/plugger/respond/\?plugID=9164 )
Additional feedback can be posted on the show's message board.
WITH OPTIONAL CC TO THE PROGRAM'S DISTRIBUTOR AT:
Paramount Domestic Television
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038
AND AN OPTIONAL CC TO THE LOCAL STATION THAT AIRS "DR. PHIL" IN YOUR
HOW TO WRITE VIEWER FEEDBACK
Viewer letters are an effective way to convey a positive image of alternate sexual practices such as SM, swinging or polyamory. Your feedback can help to correct negative social myths and misconceptions about these types of practices, and may influence the future decisions of programmers and producers about the entertainment they provide. These letters help achieve the advocacy goals of the NCSF.
For more information and suggestions of points to include in your letter,
A Project of NCSF
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.
The NCSF Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) program provides assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities who become victimized because of SM, leather, fetish, or swing practices.