Dr. Drew Pinsky Responds to ‘Teen Mom’ Fans Who Are Critical Of How He Hosts Reunion Shows; Defends His Decision to Interview Maci Bookout’s Teen Son

“Everyone complains and I have to sit here and pretend I’m listening.” 

Dr. Drew Pinsky says he knows that Teen Mom fans are often critical of the way he conducts the Reunion interviews, but says that asking sometimes intrusive and personal questions is just part of his job as host.

The doctor — who has hosted the ‘Teen Mom’ Reunions since the show’s first season—took a lot of criticism during the recent Teen Mom: The Next Chapter Reunion, as many fans were upset when Dr. Drew brought out Maci Bookout‘s 14-year-old son Bentley and asked him uncomfortable questions about his sometimes-absent father, Ryan Edwards

In a recent interview with The Sun, Dr. Drew defended his actions, stating that he felt OK about questioning Bentley because Maci said it was OK. (Fans have also criticized Maci for using Bentley’s private counseling as a storyline for the show.)

“I believe I asked Maci ahead of time if it was OK to go there,” Drew told the site in a video interview. “So, no [I don’t regret doing that.] Look, everyone agrees to be open. We all sort of talk about it and we go out there and these women very kindly share their lives with you.” 

“But you love it! Tell them, Bentley… He loves it!”

Dr. Drew stated that he has to sometimes “probe in” to help the cast “connect the dots” about their lives. 

“I push to get the answers because it’s my job but I kind of figure it out and am like, ‘OK, there’s zones that we should be in and zones that we shouldn’t be in,” he added.

Dr. Drew said that the most-challenging part of his job as Reunion host is navigating when someone is not answering his questions.

“When someone stonewalls me, I don’t know [if they’re] stonewalling because they’re defensive and we should be talking about that defensive structure, or are they stonewalling me because they’re on-camera and they don’t want to talk about this, which they should be entitled to…”

“Can I at least have my therapy puppets out on stage with me while you question me?!”

“I don’t want to violate somebody’s privacy issues but if they’re defensive, it’s my job to kind of dismantle those defenses a little bit and kind of figure out what’s really behind that. I’ve gotten very good at that navigating between those two places after all these years of doing this.” 

‘Teen Mom’ fans aren’t the only ones who have been critical of Dr. Drew’s hosting strategies. Over the past few years, Ashley Jones has been very vocal about her dislike of Dr. Drew and her feelings that he should be replaced as the Reunion host. (In 2022, she suggested Dr. Cheyenne Bryant of Teen Mom Family Reunion replace Drew because, according to Ashley, Coach B is a “real doctor who wanted accountability and insight instead of condescending remarks.”)

“Sure, but can she pull of this cool blazer/T-shirt look like I can? I think not!”

Back in January 2021, Ashley called Dr. Drew out for being a “disgrace” and “instigating little girl drama” at the ‘Teen Mom’ Reunions.

[Drew is] sitting up there old as my Papa instigating little girl drama for the last however long,” she continued. “Surely as a Dr. his medical contributions can be greater… Dr. Drew messy ass need to drop the ‘Dr.’ [from his name] and just call himself a Wendy Williams cause he’s a disgrace.”

RELATED STORY: ‘Teen Mom: The Next Chapter’ Season 1 Reunion Part 1 Recap: A Denim Disaster & ‘Mommy Dearest’ Moment

(Photos: MTV)

31 Responses

  1. The whole Maci plot line has been Bentley snd his relationship with his dad which is nonexistent .mShe has said before she didn’t want him on the show when Farrah did that video but didn’t take long before you saw Bentley on before Farrah was off. She wants to stay relevant by pushing her poor kid down in the dirt. She didn’t have to take him to the reunion. She’s egging this on.

    Not a fan of Dr. Drew but also not a fan of a reunion where people keep quiet and stonewall. Although for Amber it was smart to get angry. It’s a difficult subject she brought on herself again and she’s not ready to deal with it or face up to it and should come around in her own time. If.

    1. Bentley is going to resent them all, or worse be more like his biodad later in life. I hope he’s in real therapy.

    2. I agree with everything you said. How many years has it been that Maci is still whining about Ryan? I mean, move on already.



  3. Dr Drew is an idiot (imo) he doesn’t push those women on anything, never questioned Amber or Kail on their abuse of their partners which still sickens me today, none are held accountable but he’ll question a 14 year old, go take a seat you fool your a Dr in name only your as dull as dish water.?

  4. “I believe I asked Maci…”

    Does he believe he asked or did he actually ask? “I believe” is a wishy washy cop out. Also, Bentley is 14. It was obvious he was not comfortable, so Dr. Drew could have stopped at any time. He chose not to because Bentley is an easier target than Amber or Kail.

    1. What person (child or adult) is comfortable discussing their mental health?

      Maybe thats why Dr Drew molly coddles Amber, maybe he’s afraid that discussing the issues in too great of detail will create a situation that he could have prevented by keeping his mouth shut? Case and point Kail, he’s thrown uncomfortable conversations at her and she storms off like a pouty little kid, I think Bentley handled it pretty well for his age.

      If Amber had gotten appropriate help at a younger age then perhaps she wouldn’t be in the shape she’s in? But Tonya apparently didn’t see a problem or maybe she did but knew that if she seeked out help for Amber then she’d have to face the fact that she was part of the problem?

      And did you ever think that the “I think I asked Maci” was sarcastic, im sure he actually asked but you’re right, he should have asked Bentley straight out as opposed to making Maci the go between. I mean Bentley is old enough to make is own decisions now.

      I felt the same way when Jen asked Maci if Bentley wanted to come to the birthday party for Jagger that was at their house or the one at Rhine and Mack’s, she should have asked Bentley not Maci, that way Rhine wouldn’t have the ammo to twist and say that she made the decision for Bentley when she didnt.

  5. Maci has always been a fanfavorite, but she sold that boy out a long time ago, its sad.

    I never liked Chelsea but credit to her for actually standing by her words and quit the show for the sake of her childs wishes and privacy.

    You cant tell me a 14 year old boy is okay with his therapy and bad relationship with his dad being a whole storyline in a international realityshow. That poor kid probably know that this show is his family main mealticket and thats a heavy burden to put a on a young child..

    1. “Never liked Chelsea”, dude she was the best one on the show (especially as a mom)!!

      And how did Maci sell Benny out? Isn’t she always asking him what he wants? She doesn’t just do things because she thinks they’re what is best, her children’s feelings are important to her abd she’s ALWAYS including them!!!
      Unlike Kail and Bri who only do things because thats what THEY want!!! Those two are as selfish as the day is long!!

      It’s Rhine that spins it to make her look like the bad parent when HE’S the shitty one!!!

      Yeah she has her faults but she is and always will be the better parent!!!

  6. He does know that instead of using the “it’s my job” excue he does have the option to get another damn job, right? You know, he could get a job with his medical training actually helping other human beings. But that wouldn’t get him any attention. The only thing Dr. Drew cares about making healthy is his bank account.

  7. It should be absolutely forbidden for kids under 18 to participate in this kind of shows. Maci allows this because she wants to keep milking the TM cow but it’s not in Bentley’s best interests to be exposed like that

  8. So a 14(?) year old can answer hard hitting questions but amber cant? Is it too traumatic peeling herself off the couch? Give me a break.

    1. Amber has Bipolar 1, those are the people that more likely prone to psychotic breaks than Bipolar 2.

      Im not sure what mental illness Bentley suffers from but perhaps it’s not as extensive as BP1 so he feels more comfortable hitting Bentley with the hard questions because he wont cause a psychotic break?

      He’s hit Kail with hard questions and she storms off like a pouty little kid, she doesn’t even suffer from an illness (other than stupidity).

  9. Personally, I’ve had the exact opposite complaint about Dr Drew. I wish he would ask the hard questions and stop using kid gloves. Maybe it was ok when the moms were 16 but these are adult women now. They took the job and reunions are the employment evaluation.

    I think Andy Cohen does a good job hosting Bravo reunions. He asks the hard questions and holds the cast accountable for their behavior, yet manages to interject some humor to prevent enormous blow-ups. Doesn’t always work but the man tries. And he definitely demands that the cast answer for their words and actions.

    Again, I get that the difference is a cast that started filming as women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s compared to 16 year olds, but it’s time to stop coddling the moms with weak questions.

  10. Please, it’s “his job” to break through peoples defenses? He NEVER holds Amber accountable. NEVER held Jenelle or Farrah accountable. If he actually cared about a teenage boys mental health he wouldn’t question him about his deadbeat dad where his friends will see. Despite Maci being ok with doing it. It’s ok with her because she is used to MTV easy money.

  11. Sorry Dr Drew, stories don’t add up. You choose to harp on Bentley without his consent, but you’ve given Amber and Jenelle a pass for years. And let’s not ever forget Leah and her “monkey” interview with Corey and Miranda.

      1. Monkey was Leah’s safe word when she didn’t want to discuss a topic or it got too intense. She was just out of rehab for her anxiety (drug use). Corey and Leah were talking about Miranda and Corey said Miranda gave him a backbone to stand up to Leah. Leah brought up him cheating on Miranda with her and Corey was about to go in on Leah (saying he wouldn’t had been able to see Ali and Aleeah if he hadn’t slept with her) when she said “monkey”.

        1. I know it sounds like Leah was was trying to save her own butt however she may have been trying to save Corey’s too (because Miranda was right backstage) and I’ve seen that girl, she could tear Corey from limb to limb if she wanted to.

          But I honestly don’t know why she’d want to save his ass, I can’t stand that slimy bastard!!!

  12. Bentley is 14. Instead of asking Maci, Dr Drew should know age at 14 Bentley, himself is who he should ask for consent to discuss his mental health treatment. ?

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