A trio of LGBT groups have joined together to condemn an episode of The Dr. Oz Show that aired on Wednesday (28 November) and dealt with ex-gay reparative therapy which that aims and purports to change sexual orientation.
Media advocacy and anti-defamation organization GLAAD, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and PFLAG National, a family and ally organization for LGBT people, blasted show host Dr. Mehmet Oz for airing the episode and for including among his panel a representative of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) which they say has been discredited.
They claim producers of the Dr. Oz Show framed the program on so-called reparative therapy in a way that provided ‘a lengthy platform for junk science’ and take issue with Oz presenting the topic to his audience as an ongoing debate rather than as the settled matter that it is within his own medical community.
The groups said in a joint statement: ‘Producers held conversations with GLAAD, GLSEN and PFLAG National leading up to the episode, but did not disclose that a representative of NARTH would be featured. Although the show also featured guests who condemned the idea and practice of ‘reparative therapy,’ Dr. Oz himself never weighed in, and the audience was misled to believe that there are actual experts on both sides of this issue. There are not.’
The groups said the show tried to give the impression of presenting two sides to an issue that they say doesn’t have two sides.
‘This issue is not one that can be discussed as though both sides are equally valid,’ said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. ‘The idea of therapists attempting to change a patient’s sexual orientation has been proven ineffective and dangerous, and has been soundly and conclusively rejected by the entire medical establishment. This line of thinking is outdated, ultimately harmful, and in modern media, should be treated like lobotomies or medical mercury.’
The Dr. Oz Show has not yet responded to the complaints from the LGBT groups.