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Dr. Phil guests duel over cancel culture: 'You can't say that!'

Experts sparred over cancel culture on Dr. Phil Monday, with one saying things are worse now than during “the Red Scare, McCarthyism” and another claiming college classrooms are “extremely conservative.”

Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, introduced the topic in the episode titled “You Can’t Say That!” 

“People are looking over their shoulders and watching their words out of fear of someone pointing a finger publicly and saying ‘You can’t say that! You can’t say that! You’re canceled and banished from society forever because you can’t say that!’” he said and condemned that mindset as a “mob mentality.”

He brought on executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center Shaun Harper and Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, to represent both sides of the cancel culture debate.

Executive Director of the USC Race and Equity Center, Shaun Harper, on an episode of Dr. Phil.

Executive Director of the USC Race and Equity Center, Shaun Harper, on an episode of Dr. Phil.
(CBS)

PIERS MORGAN RAILS AGAINST ‘BRUTAL’ CANCEL CULTURE AT UNIVERSITIES: ‘A COMPLETE DISGRACE

Lukianoff warned that while things were not “great” for free speech in 2001, cancel culture on campus has become exponentially worse in recent years, saying, “I have never seen anything like it in my career than I’ve seen over the last two years, and particularly going back to 2015.”

He explained further, “2015 is when I started seeing tenured professors getting fired for what they said. And to be clear, from a culture war standpoint, sometimes those cancelations come from the right as well, and we have data on this at thefire.org, but when you start getting up to 770 attempts to get professors fired, about 2/3 of those attempts result in some kind of punishment, hundreds of professors either stepped down, fired or suspended, we can’t find a historical parallel to this.”

Lukianoff recalled ideological purges from America’s past, suggesting they are dwarfed by modern cancel culture.

An NBC News poll revealed that most Democrat college students would never dorm with a Trump voter.

An NBC News poll revealed that most Democrat college students would never dorm with a Trump voter.
(AP Images)

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“Even when we look at the old — the Red Scare, McCarthyism, the best we can find is about 75 to 130 professors being fired or punished during that time,” he said. “That’s really bad. So I am at a point where I’m fairly frustrated with people who are saying that cancel culture isn’t even happening.”

Harper appeared to deny that cancel culture was a major issue on college campuses, and said that according to the “experiential reality” of most students of color, academia is overwhelmingly conservative.

Harper claimed “the overwhelming majority of college students of color” report “that their college and university campuses, in particular the classrooms, are extremely conservative.” 

He continued, “So, this whole notion of the ‘liberal university’ – it depends on who you ask. It depends on what your experiential reality is with that curriculum and in those classrooms.”

CBS host Dr. Phil has used his show to discuss some of America's most contentious issues such as when he spoke to pro-life activist Lila Rose discuss abortion, women's rights on September 12, 2022

CBS host Dr. Phil has used his show to discuss some of America’s most contentious issues such as when he spoke to pro-life activist Lila Rose discuss abortion, women’s rights on September 12, 2022
(CBS)

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“In our surveys at the USC Race and Equity Center, our data make painstakingly, irrefutably clear that not everybody experiences a university as this liberal, gone-too-far, ‘let’s cancel all of the conservatives’ kind of playground,” Harper added.

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