Remember Shelley Duvall? If you need a refresher, she’s that awesome actress who screamed her way through Stephen King’s The Shining, which she co-starred in with Jack Nicholson.
Duvall, who has been hiding away for many years now, has been battling with mental illness, which Dr. Phil thought was a good idea to expose to the world on his show this week. The episode has drawn criticism, with many fans calling for a boycott.
Here’s the trailer, see it for yourself:
Duvall, whose also starred alongside Robin Williams in the film adaptation of Popeye, came to Dr. Phil for help, as it was revealed the actress has been combating her mental illness for quite some time now. “I’m very sick, I need help,” she told the host of the show, Dr. Phil McGraw, in a preview for the episode, which airs today.
On the show and in the preview, Duvall claims to have seen the late, great Robin Williams. “I loved Robin Williams, I don’t think he’s dead,” Duvall said, and when prompted as to where he is, she replies that he is “shapeshifting.”
Though the advertisement teaser for the show calls itself “powerful,” many say it’s an attempt at exploiting the Hollywood actress.
Vivian Kubrick, daughter of director Stanley Kubrick (who directed The Shining), has joined those calling for a boycott, alongside Mia Farrow.
Vivian has written an open letter on Twitter to Dr. Phil, calling the show “a form of lurid and exploitive entertainment,” and saying that “it’s appallingly cruel” to feature Duvall in such a “pitiable state of ill health.” She goes on to say that “whatever dignity [she] might have in this world, is denied her by your displaying her this way.”
Kubrick went on to call Dr. Phil “heartless.” The open letter has been retweeted over a thousand times, and liked over three thousand times.
Duvall confessed, live on camera, that that she’s scared that police and taxi drivers will hurt her, and that she believes the Sheriff of Nottingham is threatening her.
Her appearance on Dr. Phil will be the first time the world has seen her in over a decade, since she retired in 2002. Now 67, Duvall lives as a recluse in Blanco, Texas.
Has Dr. Phil taken it too far with his portrayal of the obviously unwell Shelley Duvall? Is he stripping away her dignity and exploiting her current mental state, or is he empowering her by letting her tell her story? Representatives of the show have not commented on the outcry.