NASHVILLE, TENN. — The criticism of Dr. Drew Pinsky spread on the Internet almost as quickly as news of Mindy McCready’s death.
The country singer with the tumultuous personal life became the fifth cast member of his “Celebrity Rehab” series to die since appearing on the show and the third from Season 3. The previous deaths stirred up rumors of a curse and a debate about the show’s helpfulness, and McCready’s apparent suicide upped the pitch of the reaction.
While many noted that Drew took on hard cases, others rendered stark judgment. Singer Richard Marx on Twitter compared Pinsky to Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the so-called suicide doctor: “Same results.”
Marx backed off later Monday, saying the crack went too far. But he restated his thoughts in a way that summed up much of the reaction in the first 24 hours since the 37-year-old McCready’s death Sunday afternoon.
“It is, however, my opinion that what Dr. D does is exploitation and his TV track record is not good,” Marx wrote.
VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” is not currently on the air. Pinsky switched his focus to non-celebrities in Season 6 last fall and changed the title to “Rehab.” The show spawned two spinoffs, “Sober House” and “Sex Rehab.”
Season 3, shot in 2009, featured McCready, former NBA star Dennis Rodman, actors Tom Sizemore and Mackenzie Phillips, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and a handful of lesser known celebrity types.
McCready was a sympathetic character on the show and appeared to be far less damaged than her fellow cast members, some of whom experienced fairly graphic symptoms of opiate withdrawal in front of the cameras.