Television talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw took to Twitter on Tuesday and asked his viewers whether having sex with an intoxicated girl was acceptable, sparking outrage across the social networking website.
McGraw often asks questions about upcoming show topics through Twitter.
“If a person is a misogynist, is it OK to just refer to him as 'Dr. Phil' from now on?” Imran Siddiquee, a Twitter user, wrote.
The tweet became especially notable when Carmen Rios, a former college sexual assault activist, created a Change.org petition encouraging McGraw to host a show on sexual assault prevention.
The petition asks McGraw to admit an error in his judgment, but also to begin a national conversation on the meaning of consent.
Rios noted that victims, not rapists, should be the ones with a national platform in order to discuss solutions to tragedies like Steubenville.
"This tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic,” a representative for the Dr. Phil show wrote on Buzzfeed. “It was not intended to be taken lightly.”
The tweet was allegedly based upon a recent news story, which was why the tweet included the #teensaccused label.
The petition currently has 764 supporters, and the tweet has since been deleted.