On Wednesday, “Dr. Phil” featured a black teenager named Treasure Richards. In front of her mother, brother, and a studio audience, Richards said black people are inferior to white people and said she was white herself.
Richards’ expressions of white supremacy went viral. The 16-year-old said all black men were “dirty gang members,” “gorillas,” and “pigs,” and said she’d be willing to join the Ku Klux Klan.
Clips of the show, which plays on the OWN network, went viral. But Nina Richards, Treasure Richards’ 25-year-old sister, told INSIDER the whole thing was a hoax. She said Dr. Phil’s show exploited her “poverty-stricken” mother, sister, and brother by offering them an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to film the episode.
“They preyed upon their poverty and didn’t do any research,” Nina Richards told INSIDER. “To cause attention and for ratings, they exploited my sister.”
According to Nina Richards, Treasure Richards concocted the plan in hopes of getting a free vacation and going viral. She said she wanted to become another “cash me outside” girl, referring to Danielle Bregoli, a teenager who went viral after a 2016 “Dr. Phil” appearance. She’s since become an Instagram celebrity and rapper known as Bhad Bhabie and received a Billboard Music Award nomination in May for best female rapper.
Treasure Richards seems to have already leveraged her notoriety for viral fame. Around the time her “Dr. Phil” episode aired, she began uploading videos on YouTube and Instagram reiterating her racist beliefs, supporting President Donald Trump, and criticizing Beyoncé as a “talentless b—-.”
“This is all some bulls— that she fabricated just to become the next ‘cash me outside’ girl,” Nina Richards said. “To become a meme. That was her goal. She wanted to be a meme.”
Nina Richards is speaking out — and risking alienating her family members — because the show disgraced her father, she told INSIDER. She and her sister grew up in the same household with the same mother, but had different fathers. The father Nina Richards grew up with was white. He died in 2006. But Treasure Richards grew up with her biological father, who is black, Nina Richards said.
However, on the show, Treasure Richards cited Nina Richards’ father as her own and said he inspired her white supremacist beliefs. Dr. Phil also used a photo of him on the show.
“I had a great relationship with a wonderful father, who was not a white supremacist,” Nina Richards said. “If they want to put my father on television and threaten his legacy, then I have to stand up for him.”
On the show, Monique Richards, their mother, said Treasure Richards “wouldn’t play with black children” when she was younger. She said Treasure Richards “would destroy or mangle her black dolls” and “pretend they were white doll slaves.”
Nina Richards said the whole thing was made up and blamed her mother for going along with her sister’s apparent deception just so she could enjoy a trip to California. She said Monique Richards doesn’t have custody of Treasure Richards anymore.
“It’s funny to me how she can sit there and lose custody of her daughter and not take her to school, but she can take her on ‘Dr. Phil,'” she said.
For her part, Treasure Richards denied she was acting.
“I am not an actor, and I never will be,” she said in a video titled “I Hate Beyoncé.” “My opinions will not be shut down.”
Treasure Richards and representatives for “Dr. Phil” didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Nina Richards’s father died in 2016. He died in 2006.
A previous version of this article also said Bhad Bhabie received a Billboard Music Award for best female rapper. She received a nomination, but did not win.