Squirmy And Grubs Why We Turned Down Dr. Phil
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[Squirmy And Grubs Why We Turned Down Dr. Phil]
[Hannah:] Source: LYBIO.net
Euuuuhhh… We have thought a lot about whether or not to make this video.
[Shane:] Just a warning: if you are a big fan of Dr. Phil, or…if you are Dr. Phil DO NOT watch this video. You won’t enjoy it!
[Hannah:] Mhm-mhm. You won’t like it.
Squirmy + Grubs
[Hannah:] A few weeks ago, we got an email. Hi Hannah and Shane. I am a Producer at Dr. Phil and I was hoping to connect with the two of you for an upcoming episode we are filming next week. Please let me know if we can connect. And then she gives her phone number and says thank you.
[Shane:] We were so excited, so I responded right away. It was like 8 pm at night and we got on the phone with her that night.
[Shane:] And she told us about this episode that they had in mind.
[Hannah:] So she told us that they were going to be featuring an interabled couple whose situation was, in some ways, similar to ours.
[Shane:] The boy had a disability, I believe it was a spinal cord injury. And his girlfriend of three years was also his caregiver.
[Hannah:] She began to tell us about some issues that they were having, which were the reason that they were coming on the show. So the girl was dealing with, like, caregiver burnout having trouble taking care of him all the time. And he was dealing with mental health issues and sadness and guilt and apparently was taking out his anger on her.
So it was just a really toxic relationship from what that woman said to us. And she wanted us to give advice to them about how we make it work, and how they could make it work.
[Shane:] She also told us that there was some abuse going on, uh, the guy with the disability was apparently being physically and emotionally abusive towards his girlfriend. So it was just like… she said they were both completely out of hope, and like totally done with this relationship.
[Hannah:] When we got off the phone we were really excited, still.
[Shane:] We’re gonna be on TV!!!! On Dr. Phil!!!! What?!
[Hannah:] Yeah! Um, we called our parents right away. We told them. They were a little bit more…hesitant.
[Shane:] The minute we said Dr. Phil, they were like, “ohhh.”
[Hannah:] “Oohhhh.” “You should really think more about that.” So we did.
[Shane:] We called a few more people. Everyone had the same advice: It sounds like this couple is dealing with way more than just an interabled relationship.
[Hannah:] Yeah, being abusive and like having those issues has nothing to do with having a disability.
[Shane:] There very well may have been some severe mental health issues going on, things that we are not AT ALL qualified to give advice on.
[Shane:] We are in an interabled relationship, and it works for us, but beyond that…
[Shane:] …we don’t have a whole lot to, you know share with them.
[Hannah:] And honestly, it felt to us, the more we thought about it, a little bit rude to go on the show as like, the icon of what you guys should be able to have.
[Hannah:] Like it just, it felt weird that when a couple is struggling to bring on a couple that isn’t and be like, “Well, they’re fine,” so…
[Hannah:] It just didn’t seem to connect.
[Shane:] “Look how happy they are!”
[Hannah:] Yeah! It just didn’t seem like the right move.
[Shane:] And then we also watched some other clips of the Dr. Phil show. And like we’ve never watched it before, um, but it became very clear that every guest that is on is exploited and sensationalized and they take these very human, very real issues and they make them into drama for television.
[Shane:] And when you’re doing that with disability, we were afraid, like what is the message going to be here?
[Hannah:] Yeah, we didn’t want to be affiliated with anything negative toward disability. And…
[Hannah:] …at this point, we’re so new to what we’re doing, our YouTube channel is fairly new, so we were still trying to figure out like what our message is, and what our point is, and going on the Dr. Phil show didn’t really seem to go with our message of like, “We’re a normal couple, and interabled relationships are great, and disability is normal.”
[Shane:] Yeah. Yeah.
[Hannah:] And so we didn’t want to be on a sensationalized stage.
[Shane:] And we didn’t know what kind of message Dr. Phil was going to be giving them.
[Shane:] You know, ‘cause the whole point of the show is that he helps people solve their problems.
[Shane:] So was he gonna tell them, like, break up? Was like…how was he gonna advise them?
[Hannah:] And how were we gonna help?
[Shane:] And how, yeah! And how were we gonna play a part in that?
[Hannah:] Source: LYBIO.net
So even though we were initially really excited and it sounded like a great idea, we called her back the next day and told her that we weren’t comfortable going on the show.
[Shane:] We said like, if you want to give our contact info to the couple, we would love to talk to them like off-camera, and give them advice if we’re able.
[Hannah:] Yeah! If they want it.
[Shane:] …to help out with that. Yeah! Um, and obviously they didn’t want that!
[Hannah:] Yeah, no we had to be on the show.
[Shane:] We had to be on for the drama. But yeah, we said no to Dr. Phil.
[Hannah:] Yes. That was a few weeks ago and honestly, we kind of forgot about it. We thought it was cancelled. Like it never came out on like, the day that she said it would.
[Hannah:] Um, so we just forgot about it. And then a couple days ago, we got a bunch of messages from people saying, “What do you think about this episode??”
[Shane:] Everyone was like, “Do you hear the ridiculous stuff that Dr. Phil is saying?”
[Hannah:] Yeah. Uh oh.
[Shane:] And we were like, “Oh no.” So we went and we found the episode. And his message about disability and interabled relationships that he gave to this couple.
[Hannah:] And to everyone watching.
[Shane:] was HORRIBLE
[Hannah:] Yeah. We don’t want to put clips from the episode in our video because we don’t want it to be copyrighted. So we’re just going to take you through how the episode went and a couple of the things that Dr. Phil said. These will be exact quotes don’t worry. And there are clips up on his YouTube. You really shouldn’t watch them, cause don’t give them the views, but…
[Hannah:] …we’ll tell you how it went.
[Shane:] The show opens with like a series of shots of the couple together in their home, doing day-to-day activities…
[Hannah:] and fighting.
[Shane:] …and both of them are fighting with each other calling each other names. They’re on the verge of tears. Just a very, immediately like they don’t get along.
[Hannah:] Source: LYBIO.net
And the girl was like reenacting what she does when she’s mad. So like they were obviously prompting her to be like, “So like what would you do if he did this?” And she was like, “Well I would just slam this door closed.” Like it was very odd.
[Shane:] Yeah. Sad music. Like very…
[Hannah:] Yeah. It was all like black and white and hazy.
[Shane:] Heavy toned, and the overlay is like: Girlfriend FORCED to give up her life to care for boyfriend 24/7! The basic idea was like: look how horrible it is to help take care of someone.
As I was editing this episode I realized that we forgot to mention something very important. Dr. Phil opens the episode by giving the results of a poll that he took. So he surveyed his studio audience about whether they would was it on Tinder? Swipe right?
[Shane:] Yeah would you…
[Hannah:] It was about Tinder but it was like: Would you swipe right on someone in a wheelchair? So basically like would you like go on a date with someone in a wheelchair? And 58% of the audience said Yes.
[Shane:] Which is fine.
[Hannah:] Well, it should be 100% because a wheelchair doesn’t say anything about the person themselves. But…
[Hannah:] Um then he asked them: Would you date a person in a wheelchair if you found out they needed care, like caregiving? And it dropped like 25%.
[Shane:] It was real low.
[Hannah:] Yeah, so he asked his audience those two questions to open the show. So if that doesn’t tell you how much he was focused on the disability, and how negative it is like he polled his audience to be like would you date someone who needs care?
[Shane:] And everyone was like NOOOO!
[Hannah:] NOOO! Thanks to those 25 people, 25% of people, that had their minds open. And to the rest of you, I hope you watch a couple episodes of our vlog. This couple did have problems, but they were blaming everything on his disability. Like there was no talk of like maybe you’re just not a very fun person to be around, or like maybe you two aren’t compatible, like you’re great people separately. Like there was no talk of like why wouldn’t this relationship wouldn’t work other than: Well he’s disabled so obviously it’s not going to work.
[Shane:] And Dr. Phil even, when they brought them out on stage. Dr. Phil said right to the guy, he was like, “Obviously, you feel like a burden to everyone in your life.”
[Shane:] “That makes sense.”
[Shane:] Like validating feeling like a burden.
[Hannah:] Absolutely absurd.
[Shane:] That’s the kind of feeling that we need to fix in our society.
[Shane:] And here he is being like We KNOW that you’re a burden. Everyone knows that.
[Hannah:] Source: LYBIO.net
And then to the girlfriend, Dr. Phil was very sympathetic. He was like “Well it course this is hard for you.” Like you’re not dealing with this well like health-wise, or mentally-wise.” “Why would you be?” “How could you at such a young age and you’re not prepared for this at all,” “be caring for someone 24/7?” “Are you a licensed nurse? You don’t have the training for this.” All of this sort of stuff that was like very rude to the to the guy, and very sympathetic to the girl, but also rude to her like “Why would you think that you could do this?” “Like you can’t do this.”
[Shane:] Yeah. Really the entire gist of the episode came down to this one moment where Dr. Phil said something to the girlfriend that well here, we’ll read it for you.
[Hannah:] We turned the TV off.
[Shane:] It made us stop watching.
[Hannah:] “You are going to need to make a choice for me.” “And you’re going to need to make it today.” “You can be his caregiver” “Or you can be his lover.” “But you cannot be both.” And then later, he says “100 out of 100 times…” “being the caregiver and the lover does not work.” “And I know this, because when I practiced” “this was what I specialized in.”
[Shane:] So that was his argument for this couple is that 100/100 of the times… I guess…ignoring the fact that they reached out to…
[Shane:] that it was working for? Anyway!
[Hannah:] Yeah so Dr. Phil knew that our relationship was good and wanted us to come and tell this couple and when we declined, he went and pretended like he didn’t know about us.
[Hannah:] And told them that that’s the problem. The problem is that you’re trying to do both and you can’t. It’s not the problem that your relationship just isn’t good for other reasons.
[Shane:] It is so damaging to push this message that people in relationships can’t also do caregiving activities for each other. I’m not saying that every single interabled relationship is exactly like ours, where my significant other is the one doing all my care.
[Hannah:] But we’ve met hundreds of couples through our YouTube channel that are doing what we’re doing. Some of them use caregivers part time. Some of them just do what we do and don’t have any.
[Shane:] And they all have different levels of independence.
[Hannah:] Yeah! Everyone is different but relationships with someone with a disability, where you are at least a part-time caregiver. It’s really difficult to be in a relationship with someone who has a disability and NOT help them. Like I’m actually confused as to what Dr. Phil means when he’s like “You only get to do girlfriend activities.” He said this. He was like “You can watch movies. You can laugh together.” So I’m like, if that boy wants a piece of popcorn is she not allowed to put it in his mouth? Like I’m actually confused.
It’s almost impossible, and there’s no reason that you can’t help someone like eat popcorn while you’re watching a movie. And that would ruin your relationship. It just doesn’t make any sense.
[Shane:] Yeah. And the message that Dr. Phil is giving is that if you try to do caregiving and be in love it will fail.
[Hannah:] Well that’s what he stated as a fact.
[Shane:] 100/100…just an odd way to phrase that. 100/100 times.
[Shane:] So we’re really disappointed with that message. We think that this couple definitely did have some issues going on. And there is solutions.
[Shane:] Like hiring help and things like that, or having other people come by to help out throughout the day.
[Hannah:] On the show they actually said that it’s difficult for them to find caregivers because of where they live there just aren’t any. Which makes sense.
[Shane:] That’s like… everywhere.
[Hannah:] Source: LYBIO.net
Yeah and it’s also very expensive. But instead of advising them to break up Dr. Phil could’ve been like: “Work on communication techniques!” Dr. Phil said that the boyfriend was spitting on the girlfriend like out of anger. Those are issues that are separate from caregiving that can be worked through. Like “learn to express gratitude when she does something for you.” And for her, like: “Learn how to not guilt him about” “asking for help.” Like all of these things are communication issues and not like caregiving issues specifically.
[Shane:] Yeah. And maybe at the end of the day they just aren’t compatible as people. Like forget the wheelchair and the disability.
[Shane:] That’s also a real possibility.
[Hannah:] Yup. Yeah.
[Shane:] But Dr. Phil looked over all that and made it about caregiving and being in love being mutually exclusive. And that is not true.
[Hannah:] It’s just fake, yeah.
[Shane:] And we know hundreds and hundreds of people that are in very similar relationships as ours that will uh
[Hannah:] back that up.
[Shane:] Yeah. Go ahead and don’t watch that episode.
[Hannah:] Overall, we’re really glad that we did not go on the show. We don’t really want to be affiliated with that message. But also, we’re upset that that couple got such horrible advice.
[Shane:] And I’m speaking to the couple now. If you happen to see this, feel free to reach out. We would love to talk about, you know, how we get through things, and yeah we’d love to do what we can.
[Hannah:] Yeah. Thanks for watching.
[Shane:] Thank you!
Thanks for watching!
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