October 29th, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Dr. Phil slams Arkansas official for 'non-apology apology'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Outspoken anti-bullying advocate and TV talk show host Dr. Phil is far from satisfied with the apology offered Thursday by an embattled local Arkansas school district official.

Related: Arkansas school board member to resign over anti-gay post

“This is the biggest non-apology – non-apology apology I’ve heard,” Phil McGraw says about Clint McCance in an interview that airs Friday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “He did not apologize for what he said. He didn’t apologize for the message that this gives to children, to kids, to parents out there. What he apologized for was saying that suicide was the only out and that he’s sorry for that he said that.”

Clint McCance, the vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, took to his personal Facebook page earlier this week and slammed a recent national awareness campaign sparked by a rash of suicides by young people who had been bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay by their peers.

The local elected official wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a magazine focusing on gay news. McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and said he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

After his postings sparked national attention, McCance apologized for his comments Thursday in an exclusive interview on Anderson Cooper 360°.

"I'm sorry I've hurt people with my comments," McCance said. "I'm sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum."

"I would never support suicide for any kids," he also said, adding “I don't support bullying of any kids."

McCance, who was recently re-elected to a new four-year term on the board of the Midland School District, also told Cooper that he intends to resign from his elected office.

Notwithstanding McCance’s efforts to atone, McGraw says McCance should have done more.

“This went beyond just opinion,” McGraw says of McCance’s slur-filled online postings. “So it has to go to a very strong apology if you’re going to try to balance the process here.”

And McGraw offers his own interpretation of McCance’s mea culpa.

“I certainly see his apology as suggesting that he’s sorry that all of this came to light, he’s sorry that somebody called him on it.”

soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Jean

    He may have said he was sorry, but I think the only reason he said that was to cover his butt. I lived in Arkansas for 32 years and have never met anyone like him. I hope that he is never allowed to run for that office again. He doesn't know or care just how many kids he hurt by opening his mouth and not engaging his brain. The apology will never change what he said.

    October 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  2. Lori

    Clint McCance only apologized for the language he used, not for his deep-seated hatred for a segment of society who are different. He is indeed entitled to an opinion, but I am also entitled to judge him based on said hateful opinion. I judge him as a narrow-minded, unchristian man who would abandon his children should they disappoint. A man who wishes other people dead because they are different. Does it get any lower than that?

    October 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  3. Allan

    I feel sorry for his kids, imagine if one of them is just now coming to terms with accepting his/her homosexuality. What would be your solution to deal with a father who felt this way? This is a good example of why the suicide rate of LGBT is higher. Where would you turn if you were his kid?

    October 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  4. Eli

    I think what gets me is that he claims that he disagrees with gays because of his religion, do you know any christian church that preaches this kind of hate. If you read the first article about this matter a pastor in that town agreed with him. What type of pastor is this. If you think someone is a sinner my religion teaches me to pray for them.

    October 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  5. George Gillispie

    This isn't about someone's opinion. This is about a bigoted uneducated poor soul, spewing hate to the world. What he posted goes beyond opinion. It's sinister and incitful and is the very reason that young kids are compelled to kill themselves. Hate is a learned trait passed down from poor parenting.

    October 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
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