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Dr. Phil Sparks Outrage with Sexual Assault Tweet

Theo Wargo/WireImage for Turner(LOS ANGELES) -- An "upset" Dr. Phil McGraw has responded to the outrage caused by a sex question a staffer posted on Twitter Tuesday to be viewed by the show host’s 1.2 million followers. 

The question was posed to promote a discussion about a recent news story, but the way it was worded came across as insensitive and inappropriate to many.

The Twitter post, which has since been deleted, read, "If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil."  The tweet included the hashtag "#teensaccused," which implied the question was meant to be about a topical news story being discussed on his show, according to

The post caused a flood of outrage from Dr. Phil's Twitter followers, and the #DrPhilQuestions hashtag started trending on Twitter immediately.

Wednesday morning, a rep for Dr. Phil issued a statement about Tuesday's "ill-advised" tweet: "This Tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic based upon a recent news story, hence the #teensaccused label. It was a poll question, not a statement or a joke.  As he has maintained over many years, Dr. Phil believes that the position of those incapacitated in any fashion; be it drugs, alcohol, age or mental illness cannot and do not have the capacity to give their consent to anything, especially sex, which could have life changing repercussions."

The statement continues: "This was a research post in preparation for a show, not a personal post and Dr. Phil deleted it the second he saw it. It was clearly ill-advised. We sincerely apologize that it suggested anything other than what was intended, data gathering.  As you can imagine, Dr. Phil is very upset that this happened."

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ABC News Radio